The State Worker

RIOT button in elevator of California office building alarms state workers

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration building in Sacramento is pictured on Monday, June 12, 2014..
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration building in Sacramento is pictured on Monday, June 12, 2014.. bnguyen@sacbee.com

The Department of General Services is removing new elevator buttons with the word “RIOT” on them from a downtown office building after employees expressed alarm.

The change follows a KOVR TV report Tuesday night that included interviews with employees at the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, where the buttons appeared. The employees told the station they hadn’t been warned before seeing the buttons, whose function is to prevent elevators from reaching buildings’ first floors in emergencies.

“The language used on this indicator light was included in error and we are in the process of replacing it,” a Department of General Services spokeswoman said in an email. “All tenants and visitors deserve to feel safe and secure in state-owned buildings and we apologize to anyone who may have been distressed.”

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