U.S Security Associates Sees Responsibility Status Plunge to Lowest Possible Level in Silicon Valley and Portland, OR Markets
Silicon Valley & Portland, OR—–U.S Security Associates (USSA), by some estimates, is the fourth largest security contractor across the nation.
Based in Roswell, Georgia, USSA employs thousands of security officers – the women and men who make sure people and property stay safe and secure.
However, this month, under SEIU’s Responsible Contractor Program (RCP), US Security saw their responsibility rating for the Silicon Valley and Portland, Oregon markets plummet to the lowest possible level—RED—which indicates “the company fails to follow responsible contractor practices.”
This comes off the heels of a similar plunge in the Seattle market in July 2017, indicating serious problems across three states.
The ratings drop stems from a failure to adequately resolve serious issues affecting security officers–including allegations and settlements of wage theft, worker harassment and discrimination cases–including gender, racial and disability discrimination cases–as well as health and safety violations and a failure to maintain community workplace standards in the key Oregon and California regions.
One pending settlement includes over $21 million in damages for back wages and penalties regarding more than 15,000 current and former California employees over the last decade.
- In January 2009, Muhammed Abdullah, a former USSA security officer, filed a lawsuit in California. The complaint alleged that USSA failed to provide meal or rest breaks, failed to reimburse business-related expenses, failed to pay wages for all hours worked, failed to pay all vacation wages owed and failed to keep accurate records.
- The suit sought damages in excess of $5 million. USSA filed an answer to the complaint, denying the allegations. U.S. Security appealed the order granting class certification, but the appeal was denied by the Court of Appeals and by the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2014.
- As of November 2017, pending court approval, a settlement in the class action suit against the company would award over $21 million in damages to over 15,000 current and former California employees.
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 real complaint / grievance procedure;
- Responsible contractors support the environmental and energy efficiency policies of building owners.