Security guards protect golf courses, especially at night when no one is around these properties that can be several hundred acres in size. And you guessed it, guards often patrol the course in golf carts. Golf courses may have water filtration facilities that could be seen as terrorist targets. However, more likely is theft, vandalism and trespassing. How many intoxicated college students have attempted to steal golf course flags over the years? How about people swimming, skinny dipping or fishing in the golf course ponds? And of course, let’s not forget the temptation of playing a free round of golf after the sun goes down.
Guard Card Blog
How much do security guards make in California? Well, according to the Occupational Employment Statistics Survey for 2011:
- Low security guard pay is $9.8/hour or $20,765/year
- Average security guard pay is $11.74/hour or $26,790/year
- High security guard pay is $14.40/hour or $29,946/year
The highest average wage of $14.21/hour ($29,545/year) is in the San Francisco Bay Area. Other higher paying areas are the Eastern Sierra Region, the Mother Lode Region, Santa Cruz County, Napa County and Sonoma County.
The lowest average wage of $9.22/hour ($19,189/year) is in Tulare County. Other lower paying areas are Stainslaus County, Shasta County, San Luis Obispo County, Fresno County and Butte County.
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You probably think that being a mall security guard is a cake walk job. However, you can be injured working as a mall security officer. For example, in August of this year a mall security guard in Texas was punched in the face by a youth suspected of trespassing. This is a good reminder to keep out of strike distance from any suspect even in a mall environment. Luckily, the guard wasn’t seriously injured, but the youth is facing felony assault charges.
Mall security officers perform lots of duties that keep mall employees, merchandise and shoppers safe. Security guards often spend a lot of time assisting shoppers locating their cars, especially during the holiday shopping season. The Christmas season is very busy at malls, so extra security guards are often hired or guards work extra hours.
In most states, security officers can’t go into a store to detain or question anyone unless a store employee calls for assistance. Bigger mall stores have their own loss prevention personnel. Guards typically patrol the common mall areas and the parking lots.
Mall guards are usually employees of private security companies, but companies that own several large malls may hire their guards directly. Guards in California usually have guard cards because they work for private security firms. However, those employed directly by the mall may have PSO cards instead.
This real world security guard incident comes from us from Georgia. A women entered a Social Security Office with a guide dog for the blind. A security guard asked her for paperwork that would prove the dog was a guide dog. When the women failed to produce the requested paperwork and leave the premise at the guard’s request, the guard grabbed her by the arm to forcibly remove her from the office.
When the responding police officer asked the guard why he didn’t call the police when the women refused to leave, the guard claimed that because the women didn’t agree to leave on his request, he had authority to remove her by force. The guard claimed he had federal authority and didn’t need to call the police. The security guard’s supervisor disagreed with the security guard’s claim that he was a federal officer. The supervisor from Paragon Security Services said the guard should have called his supervisor or the police before trying to physically remove a non-combative person from the office.
The women had bruising on her arm and a possible dislocated shoulder. The police officer stated that the dog was obviously a guide dog. The security guard was arrested.
Here’s another incident where the security guard escalated the incident and used unwarranted force against an individual when instead he should have called the police or his supervisor for assistance.
Two students at a high school in Pasadena have accused a volunteer security guard of physically assaulting them. Police haven’t found reason to file felony charges against the security guard, but the possibility of a misdemeanor charge being brought still exits.
Supposedly by accounts of teacher and two students, the security guard and a coach at the school entered a classroom to perform a backpack search. Student 1 refused and got into a verbal altercation with the coach. Student 2 then got in an argument with the security guard. The guard asked Student 2 to step outside the classroom.When student 2 refused, the officer physically removed him from the classroom. Student 2 claims the security officer threw him against a door and slammed him into some lockers. Student 1 claims the coach verbally threatened him and then grabbed him by the neck.
As you know from your security guard card training, you can’t escalate the use of force in a situation. The students may have mouth off to the coach and security guard, but that didn’t give the coach and guard the right to take physical action against the students. Security guards are supposed to de-escalate, not escalate incidents. The guard’s and coach’s actions could be considered violations of the Fourth Amendment.
Further complicating the matter is that the volunteer security guard did not meet the qualifications to be a security guard at the school. However, this voluntary guard was allowed to act like a licensed guard even though he lacked the proper training and guard card. This is a good reason to make sure you have the proper training and license to be a security guard in California.
Guardsmark security guard company in May 2011 was hit with a wage and hour class action lawsuit filed in Santa Clara Superior Court. The filing claims security guards didn’t receive their due pay in violation of California labor laws, including:
- Not recording all hours worked
- Not paying the correct amount of overtime wages
- Failing minimum wage
- Failing to compensate guards for their required mandatory security training that wasn’t independent of their employment with Guardsmark
- Illegally taking money out of guard paychecks for uniform maintenance, which is an expense incurred in the discharge of their post duties”
To avoid lawsuits as a PPO, make sure you are aware of all CA labor laws that pertain to paying the security guards you employ. Track and record accurately all hours worked by your guards, including overtime hours. You must at least pay minimum wage per hour. If you require guards to take additional security guard training courses that isn’t independent of their employment to your company, make sure you pay them for the time it takes them to complete this training. Don’t deduct uniform maintenance costs from guard’s pay. You should check with your legal consul if you are unsure about California labor laws. These laws can change, so keep up to date with the labor laws. Remember we all should be fairly paid for our work, not matter what our jobs are.