Poultry workers are being denied bathroom breaks and thus forced to wear diapers, according to a recently released report from Oxfam. Not only is denying employees bathroom breaks a potential safety problem, particularly for pregnant women, but it also shows a pattern of abuse toward unskilled workers that seems to be alarmingly common. Three of the companies accused of abusing employees — Tyson, Perdue and Pilgrim’s — are very large and well-known corporations.
Employee dignity is an issue that deserves more attention, and our campaign aims to accomplish just that.
Noam Chomsky had some interesting things to say about the Bernie Sanders phenomenon, calling Sanders a “decent, honest person.” In the clip from Democracy Now, he points out that the policies pushed by Sanders are supported by a majority of Americans, and that President Eisenhower would not have been surprised by his views. He says today’s Democrats are the moderate Republicans of the past. He thus believes the characterization of Sanders as a “radical” or “extremist” is erroneous.
A man in Miami filed a lawsuit against Kent Security Services claiming he was terminated for reporting someone who supposedly was unlicensed and still hired to do security work by the company. He claimed in the lawsuit that he worked as a supervisor for the company and expressed disagreement over the hiring of this officer in July of 2014. In the same month, he was terminated from his job. In this lawsuit, the man claimed damages that exceeded $15,000. Also in this lawsuit, he claimed there was a violation of Florida’s Whistle-blowers Act. Notably, the Department of Agriculture requires security officers to be properly trained and licensed for reasons of public safety.
This lawsuit was filed on October 23, 2014, just one month before the alleged mace attack by a Kent Security officer in Pembroke Pines that reportedly left a person permanently injured with vision loss. This person is claiming negligence by Kent Security in his or her lawsuit in Broward County (Update: An Amendment by Interlineation was filed, to change the name of the defendant to Kent Security Services instead of Kent Security of Palm Beach).
Additionally, in a case that was highly embarrassing to the company, a road supervisor in Naples alleged to the Labor Board that he was retaliated against for expressing public safety concerns to the company’s corporate headquarters in February of 2015. In this case, which attracted significant media coverage due to the lack of professionalism he reported, he won pro se. As a result of the informal settlement, Kent of Naples was required to post notices informing employees of their rights at gatehouses.
What concerns us about these three cases is that they may show a pattern of misconduct, since all three involve seemingly explosive allegations. Disturbingly, the case in Naples occurred on the heels of serious public safety accusations against the company elsewhere a short period before it. Each one is inexcusable for a company of most likely less than 2,000 employees, comparable to the size of an average high school. However, it gets even more disturbing if two out of the three cases are true, and it justifiably should raise alarm bells for state investigators if all three are true. It just boggles the mind that a small family-owned business would be accused of these public safety breaches in such a short period of time — and a security company at that!
We aren’t saying that the other two cases besides the Naples case, decided favorably for the plaintiff by the Labor Board, have merit, but we believe state investigators should be looking at the company, as there is that famous saying “where there’s smoke there’s fire” that may turn out to be applicable here.
A person has alleged in a Broward County, Florida lawsuit that he or she was maced and suffered permanent vision loss as a result by a Kent Security officer in Pembroke Pines, which is a suburb that lies between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami.
Reportedly, this incident occurred in a residential community, and the plaintiff in this lawsuit is claiming negligence by Kent Security. While we neither confirm nor deny the veracity of the allegation, it raises serious concerns about security officers carrying weapons and the possibility of them using excessive force while carrying them.
There has been a spate of high-profile cases of accusations of excessive force involving law enforcement in recent years leading to nationwide protests, such as in Ferguson and Baltimore, and concerns have also been raised about excessive use of force by private security guards and bouncers.
As an update, an amendment by interlineation was filed in the Broward case, to change the name of the defendant from Kent Security Services to Kent Security of Palm Beach. This suggests that Kent Security of Palm Beach runs Broward and Palm Beach counties for the company.
Notably, the National Labor Relations Board expressed concern about Kent Security’s disregard for public safety in the famous “Wall of Shame” case in Naples, FL that made the news in 2015. In this case, the former road supervisor of the district won pro se against the company. This was embarrassing for the company, and, soon after, the district manager involved in the scandal reportedly quit or left the company.