What price can be put on the safety of American companies and individuals? How about $35 billion? That is the amount of revenue the private security industry in the U.S. generated in 2018, and that number is expected to rise to $40 billion this year. Private security firms made all that money through the hard work of the over 800,000 security guards they employed as of 2017. But if you are one of those hard-working guards, your employer may be cheating you out of the wages and overtime pay you deserve.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) covers the overwhelming majority of private security guards, meaning that their employers must pay them either the federal minimum wage or their state’s minimum wage whichever is higher. In addition to their regular pay, security guards must receive one and a half times their normal wage for all hours worked over 40 in any given work week.
While calculating a guard’s paycheck under the FLSA’s wage and hour requirements may seem like a matter of simple math, employers can use any number of “back door” methods to avoid their obligations and reduce a guard’s take-home pay to less than what the law requires.
You should speak with an overtime pay lawyer to ensure that you are paid what you earned if you work as a security guard and your employer does any of the following:
- Makes you attend pre- and post-shift meetings off-the-cock. Your employer can’t make you attend meetings without pay. Attendance at these meetings, which typically consist of short debriefing sessions in preparation for a shift change, are compensable under the law.
- Makes you pay for uniforms and equipment. Your employer can’t make you bear the cost of your uniform, gun, communication devices, or other required equipment and tools if the cost of purchasing those items results in you receiving less than the minimum wage or reduces any overtime pay you’ve earned. It doesn’t matter whether you buy them directly or through your employer.
- Makes you pay for dry cleaning. As with purchasing your uniform, you shouldn’t be responsible for the costs of dry cleaning that uniform if doing so reduces your pay below minimum wage or cuts into your overtime pay.
- Averages overtime pay. Your employer must calculate the time-and-a-half they owe you for overtime on a workweek basis; those hours can’t and shouldn’t be averaged over a longer period. Additionally, if you spend time in more than one post in the same week, your employer must count that time together for purposes of calculating overtime pay.
- Doesn’t compensate you for travel between posts. While travel to and from work is not compensable, your employer does need to pay you for the time you spend traveling between posts or work sites.
Contact the Overtime Pay Attorneys for a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Wage and Hours Concerns
If you work as a private security guard and have questions or concerns about your paycheck and whether your employer is complying with the law, please call the Overtime Pay Attorneys at (833) 768-7924 or contact us online for a free consultation.