In a significant move to ensure the safety and well-being of hotel employees, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed a new law that allows hotels to refuse service to unruly guests. This law, known as the “Be Nice Bill,” is part of a nationwide initiative spearheaded by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA).
The law addresses a critical gap in the existing legislation that prevented hotel managers from removing customers who verbally abused staff. The new measure empowers hotel managers to deal with troubling behavior and maintain a safe working environment. AHLA President Chip Rogers emphasized that hotel employees should not have to endure such behavior, and the health, safety, and well-being of hotel employees should always be prioritized.
The law, however, does not apply to people living in hotels, and it prohibits the removal of guests during severe weather warnings. The law is expected to go into effect in two months.
The AHLA has noted that hotel employment is down by 250,000 jobs since February 2020. Rogers believes that this new law will help address the worker shortage in the hotel industry. According to recent data, 82% of hotels have job openings, and about a third are struggling to fully service their demand due to these vacancies.
The Illinois Office of Tourism reported that the direct visitor spending impact of $32.2 billion generated a total economic impact of $59.5 billion in Illinois in 2021, including indirect and induced impacts. The new law is expected to contribute to the further growth and stability of the state’s tourism industry.
In addition to the “Be Nice Bill,” Governor Pritzker signed more than 150 bills into law, addressing various issues from immigration to traffic updates. Among these, House Bill 2220 specifically clarifies when hotels can refuse service, reinforcing the rights of hoteliers to maintain a safe and respectful environment for both employees and guests.