US Security Associates

D.C. Public School Security Officers: U.S. Security Associates On the Wrong Side of the Law

Four Washington D.C. public school security officers employed by U.S. Security Associates and its subcontractor Watkins Security Agency have brought a class action lawsuit against both companies for "intentional, willful, and unlawful acts."

Filed on May 18, the suit stems from U.S. Security Associates and Watkins' alleged failure to pay officers for 30 minutes of security work performed each shift during bogus "meal breaks" from October 2009 to January 2012 in D.C.'s elementary and middle schools. In violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the District of Columbia Minimum Wage Act, and the District of Columbia Wage Payment Law, the alleged wage theft impacted an estimated 250 Washington school security officers. These officers have been trying to form a union with Local 32BJ, an affiliate of SEIU.

In Spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., Officers Stand Up for Equality and Freedom at U.S. Security Associates

Forty-four years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. lost his life while standing up for equality, opportunity and freedom among all Americans. Working families have made great strides since then, but in recent years the walls of inequality that divide us have risen too high.

Nowhere is this more apparent than with security officers employed by U.S. Security Associates, who every day protect people and property at facilities owned by wealthy corporations such as ExxonMobil, JP Morgan, and Sony.

Security Officers Call on U.S. Security Associates to Improve Jobs and Raise Company Standards in New York City

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Security officers and community supporters rallied in New York City last week to call on U.S. Security Associates to respect its employees and improve security jobs.

Officers at the Sony Corporation's headquarters building on Madison Avenue say that U.S. Security Associates has stood in the way of workers' attempts to gain better working conditions, wages, training and benefits by violating their right to organize. Officers marched together from Madison Avenue through Midtown.

Washington, D.C., Plans to Terminate $41 Million Contract with U.S. Security Associates

The administration of Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray plans to terminate U.S. Security Associates $41 million contract to protect D.C. government buildings.

Brian Hanlon, interim director, Office of Government Services, confirmed that D.C. has chosen a new security contractor to take over protecting these sites. Hanlon says the new contractor will begin providing security services soon.

The current contractor, U.S. Security Associates, has failed at least 23 weapons inspection tests since 2009 and been fined at least 118 times for violations of security and contract requirements at city government buildings.

Working People vs. Credit Card Fees: Security Officers Protest Unfair Pay System at U.S. Security Associates

Security officers in New York are taking on the financial industry and its seemingly endless fees by standing up to U.S. Security Associates' newly introduced -- and deeply unfair -- payroll practices.

Officers of U.S. Security Associates (USSA) are protesting a new pay card system they say is taking hard-earned wages right out of their pockets. The private security contractor imposed the system on its employees in New York City without the workers' consent, and officers have started incurring high fees taken from their already modest earnings.

"We did not have any say when they decided to give us our paychecks by pay cards," Kenesha Henry, an officer from Brooklyn and a single mother with a four-year-old daughter, said. "No discussion. They gave it to us and we just had to accept it."

U.S. Security Associates Awarded for... Training?

After failing several weapons tests and allowing security lapses in public buildings in Washington, D.C., U.S. Security Associates is -- surprisingly -- being honored for its quality of training. This week in Atlanta, U.S. Security Associates was one of multiple security companies presented with the Training Magazine Top 125 Award, which, according to the magazine, ranks the organizations that excel at "human capital development."

It is, of course, ironic that a company with a record of failed security tests and allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination among their own employees would be honored for their employee training. However, a deeper look into the Top 125 Awards reveals that they aren't fully based on an independent, impartial review of companies. In order to qualify, a company must first nominate itself, and then answer a detailed questionnaire and provide data on its own company.

After Memo Reveals Huge Security Gaps at U.S. Security Associates, DC City Council Solicits New Security Contractor

After an internal memo detailing huge security gaps at U.S. Security Associates surfaced last December, the District of Columbia is now soliciting bids from other security contractors to protect public buildings in our nation's capital.

The move is being considered a victory for Stand for Security supporters and all those concerned about public safety in Washington. In explaining his support for seeking other security options, one member of City Council said, "There have been some failures with penetration tests by US Security Associates, and liquidated damages have been applied to US Security Associates."

Challenges Plague U.S. Security Associates at Philadelphia Nursing Home

Recent revelations show that U.S. Security Associates (USSA), charged with protecting the Philadelphia Nursing Home, does a poor job of screening its employees and that its on-site manager at the nursing facility has a record of criminal and sexual harassment allegations against him.

The company, responsible for protecting residents and employees at the publicly funded, 451-bed facility has also been working under an expired contract since June 30, 2009. City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown is calling for the city to seek a new security company.

"Given that there is not a current contract between U.S. Security Associates and Philadelphia Nursing Home, we believe that the contract needs to be put out to bid. If the allegations of security personnel being fired for reporting that they are being harassed are true, there is even further motivation to put this contract up for bid now, not later. Contracts need to go to a responsible bidder - sexual harassers need not apply," said Brown.

Security Officer Lisa Garner Speaks Out About Sexual Harassment at U.S. Security Associates

Watch Lisa Garner tell her story in the featured video. Then join her and hundreds of other Stand For Security supporters who are calling on the City of Philadelphia to remove U.S. Security Associates from the Philadelphia Nursing Home here: www.standforsecurity.org/lisa

Lisa Garner and her family could be left out in the cold this holiday season -- simply because she complained about being harassed at work.

In 2010, Lisa had worked as a security officer for 10 years at the Philadelphia Nursing Home. She loved her job protecting residents and staff -- until another security officer allegedly began to harass her repeatedly with inappropriate comments and lewd behavior .

When Lisa complained to her employer, U.S. Security Associates, she realized she was taking a risk. She didn't expect it to end with losing her job this year.

Special Alert: DC Memo Points to Huge Security Gaps, Poor Training Standards at U.S. Security Associates

Several Washington, DC media outlets -- from The Washington Post to Fox 5 Television -- have been reporting on the failure of U.S. Security Associates (USSA) to prevent multiple simulated security breaches in the District's high-profile public buildings.

The media scrutiny stems from an internal Government of the District of Columbia memo -- obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by Stand for Security -- that reveals both huge security gaps and poor training standards at USSA.