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  • Court Pay

    My brother came to me with a few questions as he works in the security field. I told him to post on this site himself but apparently he doesn't have time due to the nature of his work.

    Anyway, he lives in North Carolina and used to work mall security. There he was involved in breaking up and detaining individuals who were instigating fights and brawls in the mall. Over the course of his employment, he went to court for the company and testified. He became disgruntled with management due to them making the security officers deliver mail, cover the service booth for breaks and working each and every weekend, holiday and night shift while the account manager violated SOP's and worked M-F 700-1500. (SOP's called for the account manager to work Tues-Sat (1500-2200 on Fri and Sat due to busy times). Anyway, he left mall security and went to work for another security firm where he enjoys his work.

    Last month, he was summoned to court to testify against a girl who was charged with instigating a riot at the mall he previously worked. The summons said his name, C/O the mall where he worked. Two other security officers also went. They were in court for over 3 hours and he missed work at his other job. He went to get paid and they told him since he didn't work for them anymore, they were not going to pay him for his time in court. He sent them a certified letter demanding payment for his hours worked. It has now been 30 days and I told him to take them to small claims court. Any ideas as to how he can get paid or anyone have ideas as to what he should do?

  • #2
    I hate to say it, but I believe he is out of luck. The court ordered him to appear, not the mall. I would think that he would be entitled to a witness fee and mileage from the court, but that’s it.

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    • #3
      Don't know if he'd have much of a case. One company I worked for paid us for court time, yet just about every other one i have worked for did not. I don't believe they are required to by any law.

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      • #4
        My hotel doesn't pay us for going to court. All we get is what the court gives a witness, bus fare & money for meals. This is one of the reasons I rather deal with a problem without arresting if I can.
        I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
        Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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        • #5
          There's no real reason to pay an employee for going to court. His activities on the clock are just that, on the clock. If he is summoned to court as a result of those activities, its his problem.
          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

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          • #6
            How is that? He is required to go to court as a direct result of his activities in his job. If he did not perform those duties, he would have been fired. If he was still working for the company, he would have been paid. He went to court on behalf of the company. If he didn't go, they could lose the case and then be sued. Every company I have worked for has paid for court.

            A decent company would pay for the time he spent in court on their behalf. In fact, he had to leave his other job on a three hour lunch break (without pay) and drive to court to testify. I think there is something wrong with this picture. Also, most companies require their officers to testify in court when needed.

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            • #7
              Luckily, we get paid for court time.
              "To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the highest skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill." Sun-Tzu

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              • #8
                I don't see how a company could get away with not paying overtime. I have always been on the clock while in court.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CorpSec
                  I don't see how a company could get away with not paying overtime. I have always been on the clock while in court.
                  I agree. Why work hard and make a lot of arrest if you have to go to court on your own time. The problem with securitysteve's brother is he is no longer an employee.

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                  • #10
                    Your brother is out of luck, sorry to say.

                    The deal is that, yes he performed a service while employed with the company. Now that he is no longer working there, he has no obligation to the previous employer (unless contract stipulates differently) and the employer has no obligation to him. But because he provided a public safety service, the court system which is not part of the employer, has required him to appear. This is an issue he would have to take up with the court, not the previous employer and good luck on that one!

                    You are facing three parties here, who operate on different levels. Unfortunately, with LE, Security, Medical, and other human interest fields of operations, they all have that obligation when performing their services, that yes even after employment they may be required to return to complete an unresolved issue. The employer (or previous) is not requiring your brother to go to court, the court is the one requiring it. So this is where your brother will not have any grounds with the previous employer.. its a part of the job when he took it, and knowing that after you leave, if you have been involved in any litigation, you may be required to return for court services. Just because we end our jobs at any time, doesnt mean the subject of violation gets to quit as well.. LOL.

                    Out here, not only do I pay all my officers who go to court, but the courts also pay a "witness" fee. I let them keep it as incentive for doing a job well done. And even if it means OT, I will bite it and pay out of our budget, as its necessary to my officers. Not all employers operate on this level, and its their choice, not always is it morally correct, but to each their own.

                    Tell your brother to look at this like its Jury duty, and the pride he gets to keep because he is doing the right thing!

                    Long after I leave, if I am called to court (just as in the military), I will be there pressed and shined, as the service I performed at the time of my employment is still supported by the decision I made then. Its a responsibility thing!

                    Best of luck!
                    Deputy Sheriff

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                    • #11
                      Next time your brother goes to court w/o compensation, he should say: "I don't recall. Sorry."
                      Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by security steve
                        How is that? He is required to go to court as a direct result of his activities in his job. If he did not perform those duties, he would have been fired. If he was still working for the company, he would have been paid. He went to court on behalf of the company. If he didn't go, they could lose the case and then be sued. Every company I have worked for has paid for court.

                        A decent company would pay for the time he spent in court on their behalf. In fact, he had to leave his other job on a three hour lunch break (without pay) and drive to court to testify. I think there is something wrong with this picture. Also, most companies require their officers to testify in court when needed.
                        Why would he be fired? Other than "at-will." If your job description does not state "you will go to court," then there's no grounds to be fired if you simply do not go. Of course, you HAVE to go. But, your job is to "patrol" or "guard" something, not go to court.

                        I have never seen a company in Florida that pays for your court time. That's between You and the State of ____________, not the company. The company was not called to testify, the individual was.
                        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

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                          There's no real reason to pay an employee for going to court.
                          I disagree. Since the direct reason he´s got to go to court (losing some of HIS free time) it´s the service he´s providing to the company, it´s not just something between him and the court. The company has a moral duty to compensate him for the time he spends in court.

                          Fortunately in Spain it´s not just a moral duty but a legal one. An employer has to give a paid leave in some cases of justified absence, testifying in court among them.

                          My company policy it´s usually to give the day off and pay a flat fee of 4 hours.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                            Why would he be fired?
                            If he did not intervene in the fights and subsequently involve local LE, he would have been fired for not performing his duties. He could have easily ignored the call about the fight and gone on his merry way, but he chose to do his job as stated in post orders and resolve all conflicts according to policy.

                            If the officers still employed get paid for court, so should the ones who don't.

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                            • #15
                              I work in Florida most of the time. We get time and a half for court time.

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