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Security company non-compete Clauses

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by fatalflaw
    I got that information first hand from 2 security guards in our phase 1 & 2 class that were working for Securitas at the time under their conditional.
    And they got it from....Where? Other guards? 'Supervisors'? Policy manual?

    No place I know of, least of all a mega-corp like Securitas, is going to risk getting sued like crazy by actually enacting and recording a policy like that.

    Disclaimer: I've worked for them, both armed and unarmed, and have never seen/heard of anything remotely like that. It was always something along the lines of "don't start anything, but if being assaulted is unavoidable somehow, use the minimum force necessary to stop the assault and call local law right away".

    AlliedBarton, on the other hand, apparently (word of mouth seems to be a frequent factor in this thread) have a policy stating that if someone tries to take you hostage, you should 'give in and surrender'. The guard who told me that quit at that point in her training class.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Originally posted by wilrobnson
    Yeah, that doesn't sound like an urban legend or anything.
    It pretty much does sound like Securitas policy. From the General Orders books I've seen, guards are prohibited from defending themselves generally, and are to run away and call their supervisor if confronted. Under no circumstances are they to "confront" anyone.

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  • fatalflaw
    replied
    I got that information first hand from 2 security guards in our phase 1 & 2 class that were working for Securitas at the time under their conditional.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by fatalflaw
    Reason being is atleast here they have a policy for their officers that you have to be hit >> 3 << times before you can even fight back. 3 times! No way lol.
    Yeah, that doesn't sound like an urban legend or anything.

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  • GCMC Security
    replied
    I'm guessing he means securitas as in group4 (also includes wackyhut)

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  • EMTjon
    replied
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
    You're allowed to fight back? Wow. Usually you are not, as that is being confrontational.

    Securitas is the second largest security company in the world.
    Who is Number 1 - Guardsmark?

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  • Lawson
    replied
    Originally posted by fatalflaw
    I don't know if Securitas is national, but here in Oklahoma City, there is no way in God's green earth you would ever get me to work there even if all the patrol cars were Ferrari Enzo's and filled up with 100 dollar bills that you could keep. Reason being is atleast here they have a policy for their officers that you have to be hit >> 3 << times before you can even fight back. 3 times! No way lol.
    For a Ferrari filled with 100 dollar bills I could keep... I'd take 3 hits before turning the suspect's head into a canoe.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    You're allowed to fight back? Wow. Usually you are not, as that is being confrontational.

    Securitas is the second largest security company in the world.

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  • fatalflaw
    replied
    Originally posted by Dragonfyre024
    We can work for other companies but can't work back on the account we are being terminated from for 1 year. We can go back after that. But we can work for the new company just not at the site.

    But here is the thing, we will take significant pay cuts, no one wants to match it, we will lose all seniority, and any accured vacation time.

    My question becomes if our current company does not have any positions for us upon termination of this contract with the client, is the non-compete still enforceable?
    Dragon, yes it does. Unless it had a clause in the agreement that if your laid off or whatever that it dosent apply in circumstances a or b or c or d etc etc, then you are bound to the letter of that agreement. Sry

    Originally posted by Mr. Security
    You're better off with Securitas, IMO.
    I don't know if Securitas is national, but here in Oklahoma City, there is no way in God's green earth you would ever get me to work there even if all the patrol cars were Ferrari Enzo's and filled up with 100 dollar bills that you could keep. Reason being is atleast here they have a policy for their officers that you have to be hit >> 3 << times before you can even fight back. 3 times! No way lol.
    Last edited by fatalflaw; 12-13-2006, 12:43 AM.

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  • Mr. Security
    replied
    Originally posted by Dragonfyre024
    I was one of these officers affected by this. I moved onto Securitas into a better position anyway. Blumenthal is getting ready to restrict non-compete clauses and possibly even sue Guardsmark as well.
    You're better off with Securitas, IMO. I know of two other accounts that Guardsmark has lost in this area because they charged a premium for their guards, but delivered basically the same or less service than other cheaper security companies.

    Guardsmark's senior management consists of many college graduates who have never worked as security officers and are skilled in marketing/business administration. IMO, they will continue to lose clients until they sellout or revamp their way of doing things, much like IBM had to do back in the 90's.

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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by RJ Martin
    I have had both non-compete and non-solicitation agreements in my 20 years in the industry and I favor neither - yet if you are the owner/management team they seem to be a necessary evil of the business.
    Yes, they certainly have their uses. They need to be carefully crafted, show some sense of proportionality and fairness, and they should never be used in "blanket" fashion with all employees (a real source of courts finding that they are overreaching because you can't show sufficient justification for the agreement). Instead, they should be used only with respect to employees whose positions are such that their departure and subsequent employment by a competitor would represent a real danger to your business. In our industry, this would usually mean management personnel, for instance, and not individual security officers. Each state is different, of course.

    It should also be mentioned that there is a difference between prohibiting officers from working for a competitor WHILE they are working for you and attempting to prohibit them from doing so AFTER they leave their employment with you. As a general rule, the former would be likely be upheld more often than the latter.

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  • RJ Martin
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer
    Noncompete agreements raise very complex legal questions that I doubt any of us are qualified to advise you about, I'm afraid - at least in the sense of advice that you should stake your livelihood on.

    Some agreements have been very rigidly upheld by the courts while others have been held to be "unconscionable", "restraint of trade", "overreaching" (too long, too broad a geographic area involved, etc.), or that the terms do not form a proper contract because there was no consideration (something of value) given in exchange for the agreement, etc.

    And, the objections above aside, in many cases the question seems to turn on the circumstances of the new employment as much as it does on the terms of the agreement itself. For instance, a court might want to know whether your former employer can show that it has actually suffered (not "might suffer") substantial harm by your going to work for a competitor.

    One of the circumstances mentioned above is the position the employee holds in the new company relative to the position held in the old one. For instance, if you were one of the five top nanotechnology researchers in the country working under such an agreement and went to work for a competitor doing the same kind of research and in violation of its terms, I daresay your former company could and would enforce the agreement. In other words, even a court that doesn't usually "like" noncompete agreements might enforce one where there has been real damage to the former employer.

    Another circumstance that can factor into a court's thinking is whether the employee can show that under the terms of the agreement he is prevented from earning a living in his chosen occupation.

    In our line of work, where turnover is common, the "value" of an individual officer is obviously considered to be very low (as demonstrated by the wages companies pay), as opposed to a scientist, engineer, etc., so it's a lot harder to see the agreement being enforced. More to the point, it's also difficult to imagine that your former employer would think that the legal expenses of bringing the action would be worth it to try to prevent a security officer from working for another company.

    But...if you walked out the door with trade information belonging to your former employer which you then used to damage your former employer, things might be different. I'm sure you have a better sense of ethics than that, though.

    The main purpose of noncompete agreements is to protect a company from the loss of its trade secrets and other proprietary information...not to protect it from the possibility of losing clients, per se. I seem to remember, for instance, that there was a case where the individual was allowed to work for the competitor new company despite a noncompete, but was enjoined by the court from divulging anything of a proprietary nature to his new employer that he had learned while working for the previous company.

    Always seek the advice of legal counsel, though - and that's the best advice any of us can give you. You might have a legal aid organization in your area that could help with this - try calling the county bar association or a law school in the area to find out how you can get free/cheap advice.
    An interesting side note to your comments, is that there is a significant difference between a non-compete and a non-solicitation agreement. Many contract guard companies have ventured down the path of non-solicitations because non-compete's have been defeated in court over and over again due to the extremeity of the language in a non-compete - especially in "right to work" states (though I admit that Guardsmark seems to have a chokehold on the court system on this issue).

    I have had both non-compete and non-solicitation agreements in my 20 years in the industry and I favor neither - yet if you are the owner/management team they seem to be a necessary evil of the business.

    I am in complete agreement that getting advice from competent legal counsel is the best direction any of us could possibly give on this issue.

    Leave a comment:


  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Noncompete agreements raise very complex legal questions that I doubt any of us are qualified to advise you about, I'm afraid - at least in the sense of advice that you should stake your livelihood on.

    Some agreements have been very rigidly upheld by the courts while others have been held to be "unconscionable", "restraint of trade", "overreaching" (too long, too broad a geographic area involved, etc.), or that the terms do not form a proper contract because there was no consideration (something of value) given in exchange for the agreement, etc.

    And, the objections above aside, in many cases the question seems to turn on the circumstances of the new employment as much as it does on the terms of the agreement itself. For instance, a court might want to know whether your former employer can show that it has actually suffered (not "might suffer") substantial harm by your going to work for a competitor.

    One of the circumstances mentioned above is the position the employee holds in the new company relative to the position held in the old one. For instance, if you were one of the five top nanotechnology researchers in the country working under such an agreement and went to work for a competitor doing the same kind of research and in violation of its terms, I daresay your former company could and would enforce the agreement. In other words, even a court that doesn't usually "like" noncompete agreements might enforce one where there has been real damage to the former employer.

    Another circumstance that can factor into a court's thinking is whether the employee can show that under the terms of the agreement he is prevented from earning a living in his chosen occupation.

    In our line of work, where turnover is common, the "value" of an individual officer is obviously considered to be very low (as demonstrated by the wages companies pay), as opposed to a scientist, engineer, etc., so it's a lot harder to see the agreement being enforced. More to the point, it's also difficult to imagine that your former employer would think that the legal expenses of bringing the action would be worth it to try to prevent a security officer from working for another company.

    But...if you walked out the door with trade information belonging to your former employer which you then used to damage your former employer, things might be different. I'm sure you have a better sense of ethics than that, though.

    The main purpose of noncompete agreements is to protect a company from the loss of its trade secrets and other proprietary information...not to protect it from the possibility of losing clients, per se. I seem to remember, for instance, that there was a case where the individual was allowed to work for the competitor new company despite a noncompete, but was enjoined by the court from divulging anything of a proprietary nature to his new employer that he had learned while working for the previous company.

    Always seek the advice of legal counsel, though - and that's the best advice any of us can give you. You might have a legal aid organization in your area that could help with this - try calling the county bar association or a law school in the area to find out how you can get free/cheap advice.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-11-2006, 06:40 PM.

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  • VertigoODO
    replied
    On a side note we have the clients sign a non compete clause stating that they cant employ any of our guards for up to one year after we leave and they cannot allow another company that takes over to do the same. THAT IS ENFORCABLE!!! I just watched a X-Client take us to court AGAINST the advice of their attourney and they lost $75,000.00... Theres a way around everything.

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  • Dragonfyre024
    replied
    Originally posted by Mr. Security
    Guardsmark lost their ESPN account with approximately 140 guards to Securitas. According to the Hartford-Courant, Securitas planned to hire most of the guards that worked there for Guardsmark. Guess what? Guardsmark slapped them with the non-compete contracts that the guards signed and told Securitas to back off. Now Securitas is telling the guards that it can't hire them to work at THAT site. Connecticut's Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, sent a letter with a veiled threat to Guardsmark's President, Ira Lipman, stating that other legal steps may be taken if Guardsmark doesn't release the guards at that site from their non-compete clause.

    Richard did acknowledge however, that Guardsmark already successfully litigated a case in CT back in 1992, thereby setting a precedent for the courts. Stay tuned for more "sparks" as the calendar year ends.

    I was one of these officers affected by this. I moved onto Securitas into a better position anyway. Blumenthal is getting ready to restrict non-compete clauses and possibly even sue Guardsmark as well.

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