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Class Action Suit Filed Against International Security Services Corporation

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  • Class Action Suit Filed Against International Security Services Corporation

    San Francisco, CA:
    A class action lawsuit is being filed against this global security company by 2,000 Californian security guards and possibly more from throughout the country. The suit alleges the company required all employees to attend a fifteen minute unpaid briefing prior to each shift. The back pay owed to each employee totals to an average of $1,000 per year.
    One quote from an attorney in this case said this: '"While the security guards understand the importance of being informed and prepared for their duties, it is unfair and illegal for Inter-Con to expect the guards to work for free," said Barbara Chisholm, an attorney with Altshuler, Berzon, Nussbaum, Rubin & Demain. The overtime pay withheld from employees amounts to approximately $1,000 per year, per employee. Given the low wages in the security services industry, these lost wages constitute a substantial burden on workers.'

    http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/060905/20060905005846.html?.v=1

    My my, I've seen many many companies that require a fifteen or thirty minute unpaid briefing. I wonder if I could win something for it. It would be a first. This practice is commonplace.
    "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."

  • #2
    I agree, it's very common. Usually, though, it is an individual client that requests it. I've never heard of a contractor that made it SOP on every site. Have you, other than this one? I always built the extra time into the bill rate and paid the officers.
    Richard Dickinson
    Dickinson Security Management Group, LLC
    DSMG Provides a Variety of Software Products and Consulting Services to the Contract Security Industry
    www.hrdickinson.com

    Comment


    • #3
      "You are expected to show up no less than fifteen minutes and no more than thirty minutes before your shift to be properly briefed."

      This is actually part of most "security guard creeds" that are out there. I have worked many posts where we were required under post orders to show up at 15 minutes prior to shift to properly relieve the watch.

      This may turn into the largest class action ever, if it wins. Most supervisors put this into the post orders not thinking, because they've had it drilled into them. Again, an instance of listening to "security legends" and other such nonsense instead of having counsel vet each post orders document for liability issues.
      Some Kind of Commando Leader

      "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

      Comment


      • #4
        When you think about it, no matter what any of us do for a living, salaried or hourly, don't most of us get there a few minutes early?
        Richard Dickinson
        Dickinson Security Management Group, LLC
        DSMG Provides a Variety of Software Products and Consulting Services to the Contract Security Industry
        www.hrdickinson.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Of course we do. But when the company is silly enough to mandate it in written orders, as I have seen several do, then the liability potential is... a class action suit.

          The worst part of it is, tell the supervisor, and he'll accuse you of slacking off or rocking the boat. "That's the way we've always done it, that's the way you'll do it." That phrase has costed industries how much in damages and fines?
          Some Kind of Commando Leader

          "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

          Comment


          • #6
            With Guardsmark we are expected to be about 15 minutes early but they admit that we don't have to be. It's a courtesy for the person that we are relieving. If someone consistantly shows up at the last second the most our supervisiors will do is require that officer to stay to the last second after their relief shows up. I almost always show up early but thats because I like to put a little just in case time into my commute.

            Comment


            • #7
              At the two places I primarily work now, the people I'm supposed to be relieving will take advantage of that 15 minute time period and split early. As a result I've been driving slower (and saving gas) and getting there only 5 minutes early.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 1stWatch
                My my, I've seen many many companies that require a fifteen or thirty minute unpaid briefing. I wonder if I could win something for it. It would be a first. This practice is commonplace.
                An UNPAID briefing? Wow, I've never heard of this and most definitely wouldn't participate in one. What are the people thinking that do even a minute of unpaid work for their employer?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jackhole
                  An UNPAID briefing? Wow, I've never heard of this and most definitely wouldn't participate in one. What are the people thinking that do even a minute of unpaid work for their employer?
                  I don't want to be fired.

                  Like I said, there are many "urban myths and legends" in the security industry, ones that supervisors perpetuate. Such as, "You can be made to stay over if you don't show up for your shift 15 minutes early."

                  I had a group of 60 year old men with the "urban legend" mentality hard-wired in. I arrived 5 minutes before my shift, so that I could take over the watch. Everything I needed to know was in the log book. The men would have fits to the office about "that young kid showing up late," along with strange demands to the office about my wearing long sleeves and tie, a duty rig, etc.
                  Some Kind of Commando Leader

                  "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Lord of the Keys
                    With Guardsmark we are expected to be about 15 minutes early but they admit that we don't have to be. It's a courtesy for the person that we are relieving. If someone consistantly shows up at the last second the most our supervisiors will do is require that officer to stay to the last second after their relief shows up. I almost always show up early but thats because I like to put a little just in case time into my commute.
                    That's the way I see it. I give a little; my employer gives a little. We arrive and leave 15-30 minutes early. If a fellow s/o doesn't want to show up until 8:00A, then I don't arrive early to relieve them. I leave a note for the briefing and walk out when they walk in. As noted above, it about being courteous.
                    Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                      I don't want to be fired.

                      Like I said, there are many "urban myths and legends" in the security industry, ones that supervisors perpetuate. Such as, "You can be made to stay over if you don't show up for your shift 15 minutes early."

                      I had a group of 60 year old men with the "urban legend" mentality hard-wired in. I arrived 5 minutes before my shift, so that I could take over the watch. Everything I needed to know was in the log book. The men would have fits to the office about "that young kid showing up late," along with strange demands to the office about my wearing long sleeves and tie, a duty rig, etc.
                      When I was a TWC supervisor, I had a couple older S/Os that were just like this. They complained to me any time someone was not more than 10 minutes early. I would tell them over and over that I cannot make someone arrive early, but I did try to instill into everyone's head that it was a great courtesy to try to get in to relieve the prior shift if they want the favor returned.

                      If shift B was on-site and they didnt have any problems with Shift A leaving, I had no issues with Shift A leaving up to 10mins early.
                      "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
                      "The Curve" 1998

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Back when I was a Corrections Officer for the La DOC we had a mandatory Briefing and inspection 15 minutes prior to shift. Policy updates, special incidents, assignments, uniform inspections and even random strip searches were done in this time before heading to our respective posts. We never got paid a cent on our checks for those 15 minutes each day. Some of us were not happy with that but there wasn't much we could do about it so we showed up at the appointed time and then went to work.
                        Now, with the Security service, no more showing up 15 minutes prior. While I'm careful to show up a little early my reliefs often arrive right at or even a bit after time for shift change. When that happens I usually meet them in the parking lot and get in my car as they are getting out of theirs. Any info they need to have passed on they can find out from reading the log book. I'm not gooing to stay after they they show up late, give them a full narrative and then leave even later myself.
                        Hospital Security Officer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                          I don't want to be fired.

                          Like I said, there are many "urban myths and legends" in the security industry, ones that supervisors perpetuate. Such as, "You can be made to stay over if you don't show up for your shift 15 minutes early."

                          I had a group of 60 year old men with the "urban legend" mentality hard-wired in. I arrived 5 minutes before my shift, so that I could take over the watch. Everything I needed to know was in the log book. The men would have fits to the office about "that young kid showing up late," along with strange demands to the office about my wearing long sleeves and tie, a duty rig, etc.
                          I don't want to be fired either. A call to the State Labor Department would assure that I wouldn't be.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jackhole
                            I don't want to be fired either. A call to the State Labor Department would assure that I wouldn't be.
                            Quebec has a very strict labour law that favours the employee, That being said, the law does not get you your job back immediately. It can take months of hearings, mediation etc. I don't know many Security people that have enough savings that they can go months without an income.

                            Also, if a company wants you out there are many ways they can get you out legally. My employer is famous for what he did, all totally legal. To get rid of a very strong union & employees with long vaction periods etc he sold the management of the hotel to a friend for $1.00. The friend ran the hotel for 9 months then went bankrupt. The owner sold the management to another friend. The next day the "new company" picked & chose the employees they wanted. Those that got their jobs back started as new employees with none of the benefits they had the day before! Others departments were sub contracted out. I was not effected in this because some departments had been sold to a 2nd company that did not go bankrupt. However, especially working in-house security, there are always a lot of hungry contract companies out there that can't wait to take us over. I've been told that some are even willing to take us over at a loss, just to be able to say that they have a major hotel as one of their sites.

                            With this hanging over our heads it is a lot less stressfull coming in for free 15 minutes per day
                            Last edited by HotelSecurity; 09-09-2006, 04:39 PM.
                            I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                            Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HotelSecurity
                              Quebec has a very strict labour law that favours the employee, That being said, the law does not get you your job back immediately. It can take months of hearings, mediation etc. I don't know many Security people that have enough savings that they can go months without an income.

                              Also, if a company wants you out there are many ways they can get you out legally. My employer is famous for what he did, all totally legal. To get rid of a very strong union & employees with long vaction periods etc he sold the management of the hotel to a friend for $1.00. The friend ran the hotel for 9 months then went bankrupt. The owner sold the management to another friend. The next day the "new company" picked & chose the employees they wanted. Those that got their jobs back started as new employees with none of the benefits they had the day before! Others departments were sub contracted out. I was not effected in this because some departments had been sold to a 2nd company that did not go bankrupt. However, especially working in-house security, there are always a lot of hungry contract companies out there that can't wait to take us over. I've been told that some are even willing to take us over at a loss, just to be able to say that they have a major hotel as one of their sites.

                              With this hanging over our heads it is a lot less stressfull coming in for free 15 minutes per day
                              The same is true in the US.
                              Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                              Comment

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