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Security Guards Have Rights Too!

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In Canada, there are over 100,000 working security guards. These men and women earn a good salary. However, a security guard’s job often puts them into very dangerous situations. As this is the case, one would think that the general public might regard security guards with a little more empathy or respect—especially by the company they work for. Unfortunately, this often isn’t true.

Trying to Shake a Bad Reputation

Similar to private investigators, a lot of people think of security guards as slimy, lazy and just plain bad at their job. This generalization may have a little something to do with the way security guards get portrayed in the movies. Usually when a security guard is on screen, he or she isn’t doing their job properly, allowing the bad guy or thief to steal whatever it is they want.

In reality, it’s true that there are some pretty bad security guards out there. Here at the Smith Investigation Agency, we’ve seen our fair share of terrible hires. However, the number of great security guards out there, just waiting for the chance to do their job outweighs those bad apples. It’s really just similar to any other profession where you might have a few people who just aren’t cut out to work in the field.

Security Guards Fight For Their Rights

Unfortunately, for the majority of the good security guards out there, they really need to watch out for the company they work for.

A security guard will typically work for a security guard company. The security guard company will receive jobs from various other organizations and companies. The security guard company will hire security guards and then distribute those security guards to different locations.

So? What’s the Problem?

Many security guard companies don’t look out for the rights of their employees. They take advantage of their time, and don’t pay them for their efforts. This kind of treatment would never fly in the corporate world. So, why should security guards have to deal with a terrible boss?

Need an example? Here’s one:

Security guards who worked for a company in Ontario, owned by Garda (a very large security firm) are suing for $25 million.

The claim is extensive. It outlines grievances against the company for many illegal actions including,

  • Pay docked from employee paycheques to “pay for uniforms”.
  • Failure to provide appropriate compensation.
  • Avoided paying appropriate overtime.
  • Misled employees regarding overtime agreement details.
  • Required employees arrive and start work 15 minutes early without pay adjustment.

Apparently, the number of grievances provided by employees working for the company is huge. However, the security guards who complained only did so once they had secured another job, or quit. The majority of security guards working for the company did not complain because they didn’t want to lose their job.

According to the claim, it’s clear that this company does not treat its security guards with respect. Again, if this were any other profession, the poor treatment of employees wouldn’t be tolerated. Security guards have rights too.

Who Hires Security Guards?

The good news is the majority of security guard companies out there treat their employees very well. The profession is rapidly growing, which means that the demand for security guards is rising. Many believe that the reason for this is because of the increase in terrorism and random attacks of violence. A security guard can act as the first line of defense against anyone attempting to harm the general public. Can you see now why it’s so important to treat these individuals well? Their job requires them to face dangerous situations every day.

Thanks to the rising need for security guards, many companies across many professions hire security guards including,

  • Retail and Malls
  • Government Buildings
  • Condominiums, Gated Communities and other Residential Areas
  • General Office Buildings
  • Production and Manufacturing Facilities
  • Construction Sites

Security Guard Training

Similar to any kind of specialized profession, security guards require training. In fact, a security guard requires a security guard license in order to apply for a security guard job with any company. If a security guard does not have a proper license, don’t work with that individual! Chances are he or she does not have the right skills or training to know how to handle and diffuse difficult situations.

In Ontario, the security guard training course is managed and monitored by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS). The MCSCS outlines the security guard course subjects, how many hours and more. What the MCSCS does not define is the cost for the security guard training course. Therefore, it’s important for the student to do a little research before signing up for the first course he or she finds. Getting scammed by a “school” that offers “the best security guard training!” isn’t ideal. However, it happens. The important thing to know is your rights, and what is or isn’t acceptable from the training before you hand over your credit card.

Security Guards on the Job

In general, a wide variety of tasks fall under a security guard’s daily duties.

  • Patrolling property
  • Restrain trespassers
  • Record all observations
  • Sound alarms when appropriate or necessary
  • Work with a team
  • Maintain any related equipment (video surveillance equipment and cameras, security vehicles, etc.)

Accepting the Position

At the end of the day, before you accept a security guard position, it’s so important that you understand the details of your contract. If you need to ask questions, this is perfectly fine! The critical part is that you know when you need to arrive at work, how much you will get paid and when. If you feel the terms of your contract change after signing, you have the right to approach your manager or boss and state your case.

It also helps if you speak to previous and even current employees of the company. They will give you an honest outlook of the company and managers you’re going to work under. Never take anything less than you deserve and you’ll have a thoroughly enjoyable experience working in security.

Want to know more about security guard training? The Smith Investigation Agency offers an award winning, highly rated program. Contact us today for more information!

Phone: 647-479-8474 or Email:

About the Author

Whitney Joy Smith

Founder of The Smith Investigation Agency in 2014, Whitney Joy Smith’s extensive background as a private investigator is matched only by her passion for the role. A graduate of several respected institutions, including Northwest Florida State College and George Brown College, her early years in life were spent between Canada and the United States. This education, along with her formative years as a private investigator in various agencies, informed much of her knowledge of private investigative laws, regulations, and operating standards in both countries.

The recipient of numerous industry awards and accolades, including the Consumers Choice Award, Best in Ottawa, and many others, Whitney takes pride in working closely with her ever-growing agency to raise the bar, maintain compliance, and meet the investigative needs of clients. Whitney is active in various membership and supporting roles, including the CPIRC, CBN, CAPI, Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and many others. Her experience-driven, thought-provoking articles have been featured in everything from Readers Digest to Business News Daily, and she strives to continually redefine standards for those in the private investigative and security fields. Learn more about Whitney and the team at The Smith Investigation Agency today.

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