Security Guard Overtime Pay and Unpaid Wages Lawyer

8 Answers to Common Questions About Wage Rights For Security Guards and Night Watchmen

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

If you are a security guard, then you may not know that you could be missing out on potential wages. Here are answers to common questions about workplace rights that can make a huge difference in your paychecks. If your employer engages in any of these practices, are violating wage laws, and you may be entitled to compensation.

Are Security Guards Eligible For Overtime Wages?

As an employee, you are entitled to time and a half your normal rate of pay for every hour over 40 hours worked in a single week. If your company is not paying you for the time you work after 40 hours each week or they are only paying you the normal rate instead of the overtime rate, then your company is violating wage laws.

How Is Overtime Pay Calculated When You Work at Different Sites?

If you work at different sites but through the same company, then those hours add up. 25 hours at one location and 20 hours at another means that you worked a total of 45 hours. If you haven’t been paid five hours at your overtime rate, then you have been underpaid. It becomes complicated when a security guard works at different sites with different pay rates. Make sure your employer isn’t merely paying you at the lower rate for your overtime pay. It should be a  “blended rate” rate of pay; if not, you’re being underpaid.

Are Meal Breaks Deducted?

Even if you do not take a meal break, employers can still deduct it from your pay under certain circumstances. You need to check your time logs to see if your employer is deducting those breaks from your pay. Employers are allowed to deduct 30 mins to an hour each day for your lunch unless they know you work straight through it. If they are, then you need to check to see if any policies exist that require you note when you do not take a lunch. If there is and you are reporting working through your lunches, but your employer is still deducting that time from your paycheck, then this is wage theft.

Can a Supervisor Round Down Hours the Hours You Report?

General rounding is permitted if it’s in a situation where you arrive to work at 7:50 one day and 8:10 the next. However, if you regularly arrive at 7:45 and leave at 5:30 but your employer only records that you worked from 8 to 5, then this is a form of wage theft. And in this case, you would be entitled to additional wages. To avoid this, track your daily hours and keep documentation to ensure you receive compensation for the time you work.

Can Your Employer Require You to List Shift Hours Instead of Hours Worked?

Wage laws require that companies maintain accurate timesheets for employees. This means that employers cannot list your shift hours instead of your hours worked. If you work 7:45-5:15, they cannot state that you only worked from 8:00-5:00. This is illegal because it cheats you out of wages you earned for the hours that you worked.

Can an Employer Deduct Pay as a Punishment?

While employers can discipline employees numerous ways for workplace violations, they are not allowed to deduct pay. Even if you do not perform your duties in the manner your employer prefers, you must receive your total wage for the hours worked.

Can an Employer Withhold Pay from Prep Time?

Employers should pay workers for any time involving preparations for a shift. This can come in the form of attending meetings, receiving instructions about the day’s duties, patrolling the perimeter, and even discussing events with a guard you are reliving from a previous shift. Employers should also compensate employees for filling out forms, completing paperwork, and performing any other office clean-up work as well. If not, then your employer is committing wage theft.

Does Driving Time Between Sites Count Towards Weekly Hours?

Even though driving to and from work isn’t paid, driving to and from multiple locations on any given day as part of your patrol should be compensated by your employer at your standard rate.

When trying to figure out whether or not you have been the victim of wage theft, it’s best to work with an experienced attorney to help navigate the details because they can be very confusing. Please get in touch with the Lemberg Law legal team if you feel as though you have been a victim of wage theft. Complete our form for a FREE case evaluation, or call  844-685-9200 NOW. You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.

Sergei Lemberg

About the Author:

Sergei Lemberg is an attorney focusing on consumer law, class actions related to automotive issues, and personal injury litigation. With nearly two decades of experience, his areas of practice include Lemon Law (vehicle defects), Debt Collection Harassment, TCPA (illegal robocalls and texts), Fair Credit Reporting Act, Overtime claims, Personal Injury cases, and Class Actions. He has consistently been recognized as the nation's "most active consumer attorney." In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid before the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case Duguid v. Facebook. He is also the author of "Defanging Debt Collectors," a guide that empowers consumers to fight back against debt collectors and prevail, as well as "Lemon Law 101: The Laws That Lemon Dealers Don't Want You to Know."

See more posts from Sergei Lemberg
  • Allied S

    Such a great information. This is really very helpful for bloggers

  • smith l

    Good post. Well-trained and professional security guard is always important for any organization.

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