Former UPS Security Officer José Milan: “If you work, you should get paid.”


josemilanCroppedJosé Milan always has his community in mind. “I’m studying to become a social worker because I want to give back. I’m an immigrant, and ever since coming to California, I noticed there aren’t enough people to help people from other backgrounds or languages,” José says. “On top of this, when someone has mental health issues it’s even harder for them to get help.”

José got a job as a security officer for Universal Protection Service (UPS) to put himself through school. He worked full time for UPS, on top of a full-time course load and another 20 hours a week as a financial aid ambassador at Skyline Community College.

“Even though I worked full time I was still considered ‘low-income,’ so I received financial aid.”

On top of a crushing schedule, José ran into an unexpected challenge: stolen wages.

Oftentimes there was no coverage at the end of José’s security shift, so he would stay late. One day he worked 16 hours straight, because UPS never sent anyone to relieve him of his post. When he looked at his check, the company hadn’t paid him for those extra hours. There were other times he was held over but UPS did not pay the overtime.

Eventually, José started taking pictures of his time sheets as proof, but still no pay.

“It was really challenging to expect something and not get it,” says José, who had agreed to work the extra time in order to pay immigration fees for himself and his wife.

After asking UPS management five different times for his missing pay, José was forced to file a claim with the state’s Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement (DSLE). José estimates that the company owes him $625 in unpaid work, plus penalties.

Although José has moved on to a new job as a case manager at a mental health facility while finishing his degree at San Francisco State, he is standing up on behalf of his former co-workers.

“I want to make sure that other workers are able to step up. If you work, you should get paid.”

Watch real estate decision-makers at CalPERS react to testimony by another UPS officer here. CalPERS is looking into concerns raised by security officers that UPS may not be in compliance with the pension fund’s responsible contracting policy.

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