Hawaiʻi Hotel Workers Bill of Rights

The standard we need to “Get It Right the First Time”

UNITE HERE! Local 5 is committed to reopening the hotel industry, but we want to “Get It Right the First Time.” Bringing back tourism is important, but not at the risk of workers’ lives and the lives in our community. Creating a standard for the hotels means we have a better chance of staying safe and preventing additional lockdowns. Below are basic standards to protect all of us– created with input from hotel workers with additional guidance from the CDC and WHO protocols.

Prevention Measures:

  • Testing of workers before returning to work after furlough and upon presenting symptoms of COVID.
  • Guest arrival testing: pre-arrival and post-arrival.
  • Mandatory face coverings in front and back areas .
  • Mandatory social distancing in all public areas, including but not limited to: elevators, lobby seating areas, waiting lines, check-in counters, concierge desks, bars, kiosks, ATMs, food & beverage counters, employee cafeterias, retail spaces, restaurants, pools and gyms. Where it’s not possible to maintain 6 feet of distance, install physical barriers.
  • Signage throughout the hotel—front and back areas—that clearly states health & safety rules.
  • Contact tracing of guests and workers conducted by the Hotel.
  • No workers in guest rooms while guest is present.
  • Additional staff for enhanced cleaning and to enforce social distancing and use of masks.
  • Adequate PPE provided by hotels for workers each shift— including masks, gloves and face shields or safety glasses. Additional PPE like aprons and booties for more hazardous job assignments like vacuuming and cleaning rooms.
  • Removal of unnecessary amenities from guest rooms like decorative pillows, folios, magazines, etc.
  • Continued accommodation – ideally on an isolated floor – for guests testing positive, waiting for results, etc., with appropriate safety precautions.

Cleaning Protocols:

  • COVID training and weekly retraining including “On the Job Training,” not just videos.
  • Hand sanitizing and hand washing stations throughout the hotel—front and back areas.
  • All soaps, hand sanitizers, and cleaning agents approved for use by the EPA against COVID-19
  • Hourly cleaning of high touch surfaces in front and back areas.
  • Daily room cleaning and additional precautions at check-out and when vacuuming.
  • Universal COVID safety protocols for cleaning and handling all occupied rooms, such as bagging dirty linens prior to transport.
  • Rooms left vacant for 3 days for COVID positive guests before cleaning.
  • Intensive room cleaning upon confirmation of COVID positive cases.

Workplace Policy Changes:

  • Workers have the right to return to their jobs when the business comes back for at least two years.
  • Attendance Policies: Additional paid leave for COVID related absences—and no penalties for calling in sick. No penalties for being tardy due to following safety protocols, e.g. late clocking in because there was a line at the time clock.
  • Work Comp: presumption that workers got COVID at work if there is an outbreak at their hotel or if identified through contact tracing.
  • Voluntary return to work lists: employers to schedule volunteers before requiring workers who are uncomfortable returning to work back to the job.
  • Good cause work refusal: allowing workers with physician approval to refuse work in the event that they or someone they live with is at high risk if they contract COVID.
  • Medical coverage for all workers who are working.
  • Additional breaks for workers to wash hands and remove masks to breathe where they are not close to others.
  • No retaliation for whistle-blowing.
  • Reduction in daily room assignments for housekeepers so they have additional time to follow COVID protocols, which involve enhanced sanitizing and cleaning measures.

Modifications & Enforcement:

  • On-going, meaningful engagement with workers on how to keep workers and guests safe.
  • Enforcement of all protocols, including inspections by government agencies and independent community groups.
  • Employers required to share and make transparent all hotel COVID-19 safety protocols with the Department of Health and the public.
  • Expedited arbitration if disputes arise over the interpretation or applications of these standards.