U.S Security Associates Sees Contractor Responsibility Status Plunge to Lowest Possible Level in Seattle Market
Seattle-U.S Security Associates is a fast-growing security contractor protecting people and property throughout our nation.
Based in Georgia, the company employs thousands of security officers – the women and men who make sure the public stays safe.
However, this month, their responsibility rating under SEIU’s Responsible Contractor Program (RCP) for the Seattle market plummeted to the lowest possible level—RED—which indicates “the company fails to follow responsible contractor practices.”
The ratings drop stems from a failure to resolve serious issues affecting security officers–including wage theft allegations and settlements, allegations and settlements of worker harassment and discrimination cases, safety violations and a failure to maintain security standards in the Washington region.
Of note is their history of class action religious harassment and discrimination allegations including a settlement filed with Washington State Court.
In 2014, Officer Abdirizak Abdi and 23 other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in Washington State Superior Court. The plaintiffs were all former security officers of Andrews International, a division of U.S. Security Associates, and practicing Muslims who protected Amazon headquarters and other facilities in the region. The officers allege the company prohibited them from praying during meal or rest breaks–in violation of federal law– and that they were forbidden from reading the Quran during breaks while other employees were allowed to read books. They allege that Andrews International regularly assigned Muslim guards undesirable posts and that managers made disparaging remarks to officers including they belonged to a “terrorist religion”.
According to the plaintiffs, the company failed to resolve these complaints causing some of the plaintiffs to terminate their employment. One officer, a plaintiff, was fired after reporting this to the HR department. In 2015, the case was dismissed after a settlement was reached.
In addition, U.S. Security Associates has a long and documented track record of wage theft allegations and settlements across the country, including Washington State. As of this writing there is a pending settlement in California for over $21 million in damages for back wages and penalties involving more than 15,000 current and former security officers over the last decade.
SEIU’s Responsible Contractor Program (RCP) sets clear goals and guidelines for improving working conditions, lowering worker turnover, improving training standards and cultivating positive security outcomes for security officers, contractors, managers, and owners.
Under the RCP system, contractors are rated as “responsible” based on the following criteria:
- Responsible contractors compensate their workforce at or above prevailing wages and benefits including health insurance, compensated days off, and other benefits;
- Responsible contractors seek to maximize continuity at workplaces, prioritize worker safety, and promote continuous improvement in the quality of their workforce;
- Responsible contractors respect and encourage the right of their employees to bargain collectively;
- Responsible contractors provide employees with a bonafide complaint/grievance procedure;
- Responsible contractors support the environmental and energy efficiency policies of building owners.