A man is beating his wife or children in one of your rooms…
A woman has had a steady stream of “unsightly traffic” to her room…
A housekeeper reports that a room has evidence of drugs…
A drunk or drugged guest is belligerent to your staff…
A meth lab is discovered in your hotel…
These are all situations that you, as a Hotel Manager may come across more than once in your career. You may not have been trained on your legal rights or guided on your moral obligations. The minute you find yourself in the middle of a highly stressful scenario and your staff is looking to you for guidance, you should be ready to act with confidence to secure the safety of your staff, your guests and your hotel.
Know your RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES as a hotel manager.
The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution has become a central theme in many cases for debating the privacy laws and what can and should be considered “private.” The amendment specifically names the “persons, houses, papers, and effects.” A hotel room, however, was not specifically mentioned, so we have to turn to court rulings to see where the precedence lies. According to Jason C. Miller in the Seton Hall Circuit Review Vol 7, No. 2, a registered guest, in his/her hotel room, has the same expectation of privacy as he/she would in the home. This statement may sound like a dead-end for hoteliers, but the key concepts are:
Allowing crimes in your hotel has many fiscal repercussions:
You will never get ahead if you think that blindly taking anyone’s money is acceptable.
All business aside, being a caring member of the human race should guide you in your management style and management decisions. To some people, the will to help a fellow man is intrinsic, but it is a sad fact that more and more people would rather not get involved. In recent years, two pieces of the legislation have circulated throughout the United States that have addressed the moral responsibilities of its people:
The American Bystander Rule and the Good Samaritan Doctrine.
The American Bystander Rule “eliminates criminal liability to those who do not summon or render aid, while The Good Samaritan Doctrine “makes it mandatory to at least attempt to summon aid for an individual in peril.”
It is interesting to find that MOST states have sided with the American Bystander Rule because
Your state or city may have adopted one or the other of these laws and that is important for you to know, but most importantly, we SHOULD care and we SHOULD act.
Citation: Miller, Jason C., Do Not Disturb: Fourth Amendment Expectations of Privacy in Hotel Rooms (December 1, 2010). Seton Hall Circuit Review Vol. 7, No. 2, Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1718669.
Citation: The Lair of Filtiarn. “American Bystander Rule vs. “Good Samaritan” Doctrine Essay + Sources”. Available at SSRN: https://denkirthefiltiarn.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/american-bystander-rule-vs-good-samaritan-doctrine/
June McCreight began her career in the hospitality industry as a housekeeper in 1996. In the years since, she has risen through the ranks, learning maintenance, front office, sales and revenue management, property management and district management, bench management and opening team management. She has trained hundreds of hoteliers and won many awards for her management successes. In 2011, June wrote and published, The Strangers in My Beds, a fictional novel based strictly on the strange events of her career in hotels. In 2014, June partnered with her father, a very accomplished software architect, and opened the business, Coba Enterprise Management, LLC with a very unique and specialized CMMS (Computer Maintenance Management System) software for hotels.