Panic buttons give hotel workers added protection

As a housekeeper at the Tradewinds Island Resort, it's Sharina Patillo's job to make guests feel comfortable. There are also safeguards at work to help her feel more comfortable. 

Right now, there are stoppers to help prop the door opens, workers explained.

"We want that doorway propped open with the doorstop so that way you can easily get in and out of the room and someone can hear you if you have a distress call," said Keith Overton, the president of the resort.

Protecting workers from sexual harassment has become a hot topic in the hotel industry. 

"I think it stems from perhaps the "Me Too" movement and some of the issues that went on in Hollywood and in and around the country," Overton explained.

Just last year, Tampa police arrested a registered sex offender for attacking a worker at a Marriott hotel.
Now, some major hotel chains are giving workers extra security with portable panic buttons.  

"The industry is testing a lot of that right now to determine what is the best strategy to get information back to someone quickly if there is an emergency situation where a room attendant's safety is at risk", said Overton.

For Patillo, is a good and welcoming idea.

"If there's something going on and someone needs to get there, there would be a button to push," she said. "It would be convenient for everybody."

She said she's had no problems, but her safety at work is paramount. 

"I think anything we can do to not only give that room attendant assurance that they're safe in the room but to protect them from the 'what if' scenario is a good thing for us to do," Overton said.