First Alarm Security sees responsibility rating plummet
SEIU’s Responsible Contractor Guide downgraded First Alarm Security’s standing to “RED” in California this month – its lowest possible rating. First Alarm, which also does business under the name First Security Services, employs around 1200 security officers in Northern California.
First Alarm’s RED designation informs responsible property managers and owners throughout California that the company has problems that require immediate attention.
Problems facing First Alarm/First Security include allegations and settlements regarding wage theft, inadequate screening and training of security officers, as well as allegations of discrimination, retaliation, and harassment. Security officers, clients and more have raised the following concerns:
- In 2015, First Alarm paid $600,000 to settle a class-action wage and hour lawsuit to more than 2,400 current and former security officers.
- In the last three years, at least one security officer has filed a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit, and at least six other officers have made complaints alleging disability, race, gender, or ethnicity discrimination against the company.
- Current and former First Alarm/First Security employees have been charged with federal fraud, stalking, and even murder. Better employee screening needs to be a priority. Security experts have linked the utilization of low cost contractors to poor outcomes.
“Can you imagine buying a car built by a company who paid the lowest wages, the least trained, had the highest turnover and lack of loyalty, and expect a well-built safe car? This mentality leads to an equal number of security companies that will fill the bill with low wage, poorly trained, high turnover guards, and these are the guards that will get you into trouble more often and cost you in court.” – (Thomas J. Lekan Security Consulting LLC, Can You Really Afford Low Price Security Guards?)
Such business practices negatively impact security officers, tenants, property managers, and the public. Security officers and SEIU have reached out to First Alarm/First Security on multiple occasions. As of yet, the company has not taken steps to remedy the working conditions.To read full letter: SEIU Letter to First Alarm Rating Drop to RED June 2016
SEIU’s responsible contractor program aims to improve working conditions, lower worker turnover, improve training standards and improve security outcomes. See more at Responsible Contractor Guide.