This blog contains the content of Chapter 2 of my book, Don’t Get Sued! A Guide to Help Reduce Your Business’s Exposure to Lawsuits. Chapter 2 deals with security personnel and reads as follows:
You may have or plan on opening the type of business that requires security, like a jewelry store. Or, you may simply feel like your business needs security to make would-be criminals think twice before acting. Or, maybe there is a disgruntled ex-employee who you believe poses a threat; in which case, not hiring security could create liability.
Whatever the reason for having security guards in place, understand that having such employees creates additional liability exposure. Keep in mind, with limited exception (shopkeeper’s privilege – where it applies, defense of others, etc.) private security guards have no right to touch anyone. Therefore, if your needs require more than a show of force, you may want to consider hiring off duty police officers to handle security. Police officers can make arrests and carry weapons. A police officer will also typically wear his or her uniform when handling off duty work, and may be able to keep their police vehicle in the lot outside your business. You may also be able to piggy back onto the municipality’s liability defense if the officer is included in a lawsuit against your business. By the way, typically the cost of hiring an off duty officer is comparable to hiring a rent-a-cop.
On the other hand, if you do business with private company, be sure to have a written agreement in place in which the company agrees that they are responsible for any alleged misconduct, of any type, by their guards. You may wish to hire an attorney to prepare such a document, or to review one provided by the security company.
Don’t Get Sued by Roger Gelb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at www.gelbandgelb.com.