Security Guard/Janitor/Maintenance Service Industry

Security Guard/Janitor/Maintenance Service Industry Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

This section will briefly cover how the FLSA applies to the Security Guard and Maintenance Service Industries.


The security guard service industry includes those firms that provide protection to firms or individuals. Normally, the guard obtains a State license which is portable from firm to firm. The guards cover a post daily and are usually paid on an hourly basis.

The maintenance service industry includes those firms that provide janitorial services in general. Normally, the firm provides the necessary materials to do the cleaning. The employees generally perform work at one or more locations during the work shift.


The FLSA requires the payment of the Federal minimum wage and the payment of time and one-half the regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in the workweek. The FLSA also requires the firm to make, keep and preserve certain records among which are the hours worked on a daily and weekly basis by non-exempt employees.

Typical Problems

Security Guard Firms: The security guard cannot bear the cost of the uniform, gun, whistle, belt, and other employer/industry required tools if by purchasing them he/she receives less than the applicable minimum wage or such purchasing would cut into any overtime wages earned. This applies whether she\he buys the uniform directly or if it is sold to the employee by the firm.
The cost of dry cleaning the uniform cannot be borne by the employee if in doing so he/she receives less than the minimum wage or the costs would cut into any overtime wages.

Overtime must be calculated on a workweek basis, and the hours cannot be averaged over a two week period.

The hours worked by guards in more than one post in the same week must be counted together for overtime purposes.

Travel time between work sites must be treated as hours worked.

All hours of work must always be recorded; sometimes they are hidden by showing “expense” payments for hours over 40 in a week, which is illegal.

Industrial/Maintenance Service Firms: Every person who works must receive payment. If a man and wife team, and/or other family members work together, each member of the team must be carried on the payroll and each must receive proper compensation for their hours worked.

If minors work, they must also receive proper compensation for the hours they work.

Overtime must be paid after 40 hours of work in the workweek to all non-exempt employees regardless of the method of compensation, i.e., hourly, piece rate, task basis, salary, etc.
The hours worked by a janitor who works in more than one establishment must be counted together for overtime purposes.