Wage Theft as a Security Guard

Security guards are essential workers in today’s world. They protect both people and property and they do this 24/7.

This means they do not work a regular 9-5 day. Their work rosters may change every week so that they do not spend all their time working at night, for example. 

Shifts are often long and hours per shift may vary from week to week. This makes it hard for a security worker to keep a track of his/her weekly wage.

It is not the security worker’s job to record the hours worked and the amount that is to be paid.

That is legally the employer’s job and if it is not done correctly and wage theft takes place then the employer is violating the Wage and Hour Law which comes under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). You, as a security worker, may have the right to file a lawsuit to get your wages theft repaid.

Examples of Wage Theft that a Security Guard Could Face

These are some common examples of wage theft which include the following:

  • not being paid the minimum wage for a security guard;
  • not being paid for daily overtime limits;
  • not being paid for weekly overtime limits;
  • not being paid for on-the-job sleep time during long shifts;
  • not being paid the right sick and vacation leave entitlements.

If wage theft has taken place, your employer may make every effort to conceal it.

You have to carefully calculate what you should get for overtime, vacation and sick leave so that you know exactly how much the wage theft is.

Your employer has to pay you for every minute you spend on the job including getting into your security clothes at the beginning of your shift to changing back into your ordinary clothes once the shift is over.

Your employer cannot ask you to work even a few minutes over your shift without giving you the assurance you are going to get paid.

What to Do About Your Wage Theft

It might be an embarrassing subject to talk about with your supervisor or HR department but it has to be done if you want to see an end to the wage theft.

If the response is a favorable one and your supervisor or HR representative agrees your unpaid wages are a genuine mistake and you will get a repayment on the next pay day then approaching your supervisor directly was worthwhile.

However, it is far more likely that the response will be unfavorable and you may even be blamed for miscalculating. 

Now you have to start making a better effort to record every part of your working day or night and track your hours so that you can check back against your pay stub. You should seriously consider talking to an employment lawyer

Speak With An Attorney

Your employment attorney can help you gather evidence to prove your employer has violated Wage and Hour Law. The attorney will most likely approach your supervisor or HR department with the evidence and see how they respond.

If they do not agree with the evidence then your attorney may consider filing a complaint with your State’s Department of Labor which is responsible for employers who violate Wage and Hour Law by engaging in unlawful wage theft.

If the Labor Commissioner agrees with the claim, your attorney may consider filing a lawsuit to get back your wage theft.

If the wage theft was deliberate and there is proof to support that you may be able to claim punitive damages for the reckless way your employer has handled your wage theft.our Law

Additional Resources