Miami Security Officers to Kent Security: Stop Cheating Workers and Taxpayers
A group of private security officers in Miami could receive more than $100,000 in unlawfully withheld pay after filing a complaint against one of the city’s contracted security companies.
Security officers who work hard to protect Miami’s public buildings are calling on city officials to investigate allegations of wage theft by their employer, Kent Security. The officers say that they were being paid below the minimum wage set by the Miami Living Wage Ordinance for at least two years while working under a taxpayer funded contract. That means taxpayer money went to the company–not the community.
“I feel like I haven’t been paid what I am owed for my work,” said Edgar Dixon, a security officer who has patrolled Miami for the last four years, and says he can’t afford to pay his bills despite working hard enough to earn a promotion to captain.
Miami’s Living Wage Ordinance was put in place in 2006 in order to provide good paying jobs to those who work for the city and ensure tax dollars are used to hire responsible contractors. The officers say that as Miami raised its legal minimum wage for contracted employees over the past several years, Kent Security still paid below the required minimum, pocketing the difference and violating the wage requirements in its contract.
That difference could result in a $100,000 payment to Miami officers who have filed a formal complaint with the City of Miami with the help of SEIU Local 32BJ, a union representing many security officers.
According to the Miami New Times, Kent Security has about 35 officers who protect city hall, police stations and Miami Parking Authority sites. In the security industry, a living wage ordinance like Miami’s not only raises the standard of living for the city’s security officers, but ensures that taxpayer dollars go toward public safety.
“These workers keep our streets safe and deserve better than exploitation and wage theft from Kent,” said Eric Brakken, Florida State Director of 32BJ SEIU.
Miami taxpayers deserve better too.