Ashlee Cervantes, Guard Protection Force & CALSAGA Board Member


How recently have you reviewed your internal Security Officer statistics? Do you know the percentage of women versus men on your team? Now you may be thinking,

“Why does it matter? I hire the most qualified person for the job.”

I wholeheartedly agree with this perspective, I also know that numbers never lie. There’s an entire story they represent and if we listen there’s much to be learned from the stories these numbers can reveal.


As a security professional I am sure you’re already aware of the inherit value women bring to your workforce. Nonetheless, here are just a few of the critical components that highlight the essential need for a multicultural and diverse workforce now more than ever:

  1. According to Security Magazine, security is one of the fastest-growing professional careers worldwide. Not that I need to tell you this – just speak with your sales and recruitment teams. When you strategize to target and retain female talent you open doors to exacerbate talent growth.
  2. The issues our clients are facing have evolved over the past 20 years and now require a collaborative, diverse team to address these (literal) life and death problems. Research continues to indicate the more diverse your team – the better the results. Women strategize and think differently than our male counterparts. We tend to naturally leverage empathy, effective communication and emotional intelligence to problem solve and effectively mitigate difficult situations.
  3. Lastly, when it comes to boots on the ground operations we’ve all heard women are simply better shooters than men. Now, I am using this idea to be facetious but there is a relevant point to deliver here: women have much to bring to the table from an operational perspective as well. One theory explains, “that yes, women are better shooters, and [this] theory is that it’s because women listen to their instructors instead of trying to one-up them” Tactically women have many qualities, especially those highlighted by this point, we are keen listeners and observationists.


Now we’ve covered at least a few of the critical components as to why you need women on your security team. So go ahead and review your own internal statistics and let’s talk about what you find …

Scenario I: Perhaps you found that your internal statistics reflect those of the industry nationally: 25% of security officers in the US are women . While this scenario means your company stacks up positively against the national numbers, we’ll still want to revisit how as an industry we can grow those numbers in general.

Scenario II: Let’s explore another possibility. What if you review your employee statistics and find that you are at or even exceed 25% of women in your workforce, but only when you include administrative staff. While this isn’t bad news, I’d caution you against celebrating your diverse workforce just yet.

By design administrative teams are critically different than our security officer roles. And remember, the national statistic indicates that 25% of all security officers are women, so that’s what we want to measure ourselves against.

Scenario III: Let’s explore a final possibility. what if you fall short of the national average? In this scenario you review your internal security officer profiles and come to find that your organization currently employ less than 25% women in the field.


First things first; don’t panic.

A great place to start is to reflect on your company history. If 2022 reflects less than 25% of your security officers are women, what did 2021 look like? And 2020? Even more importantly, what about 2018 & 2019? Here is why this is critical information: we know that COVID-19 has critically impacted women in the workplace across industries).

In this scenario the goal will be to understand where those women went across the span of the last three years. Your internal exit interviews are a great place to start. Your exit interviews should give you insight into why former employees have left and where they went. Digging into those details will help you understand how to better accommodate and attract women to your workforce going forward, and particularly in a COVID world.

In closing, we’ve addressed the critical components a diverse workforce bring to your organization, clients and our industry as a whole. Then we analyzed why you need to know your own numbers and understand where you fall. I outlined three scenarios and possibilities to frame those numbers, but know that it is okay if you don’t fit in a particular box.

There is much work to be done, but awareness of the critical value women bring to the security industry is the very first step.

Ashlee Cervantes holds her Masters in Business Administration from University of California, Davis. She is a seasoned security professional, with over a decade of management experience overseeing teams who specialize in Armed Security and Executive Protection. She is based in Northern California where she serves as the Executive Director of Operations with Guardian Protection Force Inc (GPF). Since 2019 she has served as the Northern California Director of CALSAGA. In her time in the industry Ashlee has grown both teams of security professionals, management and revenues four-fold. 


By Martin Vigodnier, Esq. and Jaimee K. Wellerstein, Esq., Bradley & Gmelich, CALSAGA Legal Advisor

On March 19, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 95 into law, once again providing COVID-19 related supplemental paid sick leave to California workers. Employers will recall that 2020 mandatory COVID-19 paid sick leave – both federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and California Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) expired on December 31, 2020.

SB 95 now requires any California employer with more than 25 employees to provide SPSL for COVID-19 related reasons in addition to regular paid sick leave offered. The new law also authorizes SPSL for providers of in-home supportive services and waiver personal care services.


The new law took effect on March 29, 2021 and remains in effect through September 30, 2021. However, SB 95 is retroactive to January 1, 2021. Thus, any leave granted since January 1st for any of the qualifying reasons (discussed below) would require reimbursement. 


The qualifying reasons for leave have been expanded for 2021. Employees who are unable to work or telework can use SPSL for the following reasons, which are more numerous than they were in 2020:

  1. Employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 as defined by federal, state, or local orders or guidelines. 
  2. Employee is advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19. 
  3. Employee is attending an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 
  4. Employee is experiencing symptoms related to a COVID-19 vaccine that prevent the employee from being able to work or telework. 
  5. Employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis. 
  6. Employee is caring for a family member who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order or guideline or who has been advised to self-quarantine by a health care provider due to concerns related to COVID-19. 
  7. Employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 on the premises. 


  • Full-Time Employees: Employees receive 80 hours if either their employer considers them to work full time or, on average, they worked or were scheduled to work at least 40 hours per week in the two weeks preceding the leave. 
  • Part-Time Employees: Employees with a normal weekly schedule receive the total number of hours they are normally scheduled to work over two weeks. Employees who work a variable schedule and have worked six months or more will receive 14 times the average number of hours they worked each day in the six months preceding their leave date. (For example, the total number of hours worked in last six months divided by 182 days equals the daily hours; then multiply the daily hours by 14 for the total hours entitlement). If the employee worked only between 15 days and six months, the same calculation would be used, but over their entire period of employment. Employees who worked 14 days or fewer receive leave hours equal to their total number of hours worked. 


The 2021 SPSL pay rate calculation mandates that non-exempt employees receive the highest of the following (subject to the cap, below): 

  • The employee’s regular rate of pay for the workweek in which the leave is taken; 
  • A rate calculated by dividing the employee’s total wages, not including overtime premium pay, by the employee’s total hours worked in the full pay periods of the prior 90 days of employment; or 
  • The state or local (whichever is applicable) minimum wage. 

Note that for exempt employees, SPSL is calculated in the same way that the employer calculates wages for other forms of paid leave.

The 2021 SPSL is capped. The most an employee can receive for 2021 SPSL is $511 per day or $5,110 in the aggregate.


An employee is entitled to SPSL immediately upon their oral or written request. Moreover, an employer cannot require medical certification in order to provide the paid leave. However, bear in mind that it may be reasonable in some circumstances to request documentation where the employer has information indicating that the employee is not requesting SPSL for a legitimate purpose.


A notice of employee SPSL rights must be posted at the workplace, or sent via email if employees work from home. A link to the notice required (available through the Labor Commissioner’s Office) is available here. 

Like in 2020, California requires information concerning employees’ SPSL benefits be available on employee paystubs. Importantly, the 2021 law requires that SPSL and non-COVID statutory paid sick leave be displayed separately.

For part-time, variable-scheduled employees, employers must calculate the initial amount of SPSL available as of the first printing of the paystubs and indicate “variable” next to the amount on the paystub. The employer would then do the actual calculation if/when the employee actually requests the leave.

Finally, any retroactive SPSL payment must be identified on an employee’s paystub for the pay period during which payment is made.

Have questions about 2021 Covid-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave or any other pressing employment law issues? Contact your attorneys at Bradley & Gmelich LLP. We are here to help.

Jaimee K. Wellerstein is a Partner at Bradley & Gmelich LLP and the Head of the firm’s Employment Department. Jaimee concentrates her practice in representing employers in all aspects of employment law, including defense of wage and hour class actions, PAGA claims, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful discharge, misclassification, and other employment related lawsuits. She also provides employment counseling and training in all of these areas. The firm acts as general counsel for many security companies in California.    

Jaimee routinely represents employers in federal and state courts and in arbitration proceedings throughout the state, as well as at administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, the United States Department of Labor, and other federal and state agencies. Jaimee assists as a Legal Advisor to CALSAGA, and is a member of ASIS International. She is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell, the highest peer rating available. jwellerstein@bglawyers.com / 818-243-5200.





Martin P. Vigodnier, Esq. is a Senior Associate in Bradley & Gmelich LLP’s Employment Law Department.  Martin focuses his practice on labor and employment litigation, class actions, and Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) actions, including wage and hour claims, discrimination, leaves of absence, reasonable accommodation, defamation, trade secrets, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination, breach of contract, and fraud.  Martin also drafts, in both English and Spanish, contracts, regulatory compliance materials, agreements, and policies such as anti-harassment, discrimination, and retaliation policies, OSHA safety policies, employee reimbursement policies, employee stock purchase plans, independent contractor agreements, arbitration agreements, settlement agreements, cross-purchase buy sell agreements, and employee handbooks.  

?Prior to joining the firm, Martin was President and Founder of his solo law practice handling various employment matters.  Prior to practicing law, he was an extern for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and awarded the prestigious Peggy Browning Fellowship to work for the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), assisting the Office of General Counsel analyze unfair labor practice charges against government agencies.   

Martin is a native Spanish speaker and writer, and a former amateur boxer. 


  • B.A., University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • J.D., University of Illinois, College of Law 

Bar Admission

State Bar of California





Tony Unfried, CSA360

Over the last 13 months, everyone likely became very wary of hearing the phrase “The New Normal.”  As the world has opened up and the vaccine has started to roll out, the changes we have all experienced haven’t gone away.  The reliance on new and old technology being implemented in the security industry continues to grow.  Looking back on what we have all done, and forging ahead into the future, we can now ask, “What has changed forever in the security industry?”

The Need for Security

The need for security and visitor management systems at a facility has increased. A drastic increase in certain crimes and a global pandemic has intensified the need for physical security even if the facility is empty. The role of a security team and their use of technology became more important than ever with them being tasked with running temperature checks, enforcing masks, and still social distancing. Even in neighborhoods, the increased amount of security surveillance was needed more than ever. What has changed forever though is now we have to monitor empty schools with physical or remote cameras, but still communicate with boots on the ground.


Public health became a new concern for the security industry due to the padmenic. We had a new role of making sure everyone was following social distancing guidelines, wearing masks, and even prescreening all people who enter a building. We now have to consider how to pandemic-proof a facility for the foreseeable future. It is our job to assure that all workers feel safe even from microscopic threats. 

2020 was the year we were forced to adapt. Security guards are essential workers and while most of the US was in quarantine we were on-site securing and monitoring the world. We turned to technology to find a way to make sure security teams were in contact with as few people as possible and finding ways to automate as many processes as possible with technology. The use of visitor management pre-screen and temperature checking kiosks is rising at an exponential rate.
Facial recognition became more common for managing control in big facilities like warehouses and large business buildings. It can be used to grant access into different areas contactless getting rid of biometric readers and keypads which is a possible breeding ground for viruses. 

Security teams are looking to their current software to provide them, even more, use manage facilities.  Paperless incident reports, guard tour checkpoints, push notifications, and contactless visitor management has helped teams adapt to these trying times. Being able to be happening in real-time with your team, your schedule, and the visitors in your facilities gives your team the ability to adapt and be prepared.  This new invasion is what has changed forever.

Tony Unfried, CEO of CSA360, holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs and Criminal Justice from Indiana University, where he graduated with honors. While enrolled in his master’s program, Tony worked for The TJX Companies, Inc., leading the region in loss prevention and moving the company toward technology use in Security. Tony went on to join the most significant security company in Indiana, managing more than 500 employees and 50 sites, including the Indiana Convention Center, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center. Seeing a noticeable gap in technology use in the physical security sector, Tony created his first security software application, launched at the Super Bowl in 2012, and recognized twice for Excellence in Mobile Technology by Techpoint. Tony has also spoken on Tech in Physical Security on panels with ASIS and IAVM.


Debbie Howlett, TrackTik, Network Partner

With tensions at an all-time high right now, it’s important to ensure that our frontline security officers remain as calm, cool, and collected as possible during these difficult and trying times. One of the best ways a security company can ensure the safety of their security teams, and especially lone workers, is to equip them with the very best tools to support and protect them. Ensuring the safety and well-being of your security officers also confirms your commitment that as a security company you are complying with your health and safety obligations towards your security personnel. 

California, like many states across the U.S., is under a statewide order issued by California’s governor requiring people to wear face coverings while entering most indoor settings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But across the U.S., face masks have become a topic of hot debate, with some parts of the population flat-out refusing to wear masks while others argue that masks could save lives. 


As a result, there have been several instances of violence against security officers for enforcing safety policies across the country. 

In Flint, Michigan, a security officer was fatally shot after telling a customer to wear a state-mandated face mask. The officer was simply doing his job by upholding the governor’s executive order related to the Covid-19 pandemic for the safety of store employees and customers.  

In Chicago, two sisters were charged with attempted murder after they attacked a security officer in a shoe store who told them to wear face masks and use hand sanitizer. 

Another security officer, this time in Van Nuys, California, walked away from a fight with a broken arm after two men refused to wear masks inside a Target store.

Risky Work Environments

As more major U.S. retailers require their customers to wear face masks, store employees are often being confronted by unreasonable and sometimes violent customers who refuse to comply with the mask mandates. In August, Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, asked companies to hire security staff to enforce a store’s mask policy instead of burdening employees with the task. “Employees should not be expected to put their safety and their life on the line for the employer. That’s an unreasonable expectation,” Appelbaum said. 

However, security experts are also encouraging security officers to adopt calm, non-confrontational tones when speaking with customers about wearing a face mask. Instead of saying “You need to wear a face mask,” experts suggest using phrases like “This business has a policy requiring face masks? Are you able to get a face mask?” At the end of the day though, if a confrontation ensues, security officers, like store employees, should always escalate risky situations to law enforcement. 

Lone Work Safety

In the past, security companies were forced to rely on paper reports and check-ins via radio to know what was going on during an officer’s shift. Not anymore. Lone worker systems ensure that you are always aware of where your security officers are. These systems – which include GPS tracking and other key features – were designed to ensure that your workers are always safe and secure. 

Here are a few technologies that could save a security officer’s life: 

  • Instant Incident Reporting & Video Recording

Modern lone worker systems allow for your security officers to take video footage and photos in real-time at the location of an incident, while also sending instant alerts to the office support staff that something is amiss. Video recording (sometimes referred to as “Watch Mode”) can also improve lone worker safety by providing officers with the ability to record interventions and other potentially dangerous situations they may encounter during a shift. For example, let’s say that one of your security officers encounters an intruder while on patrol. Rather than attempting to describe the suspect afterwards, they can instead activate Watch Mode to capture a clear image of the perpetrator. This not only helps law enforcement take proper action, but it can also protect your officer against legal concerns if there is a dispute surrounding the incident. 

  • GPS Tracking 

One of the most frequently highlighted features of lone worker systems is GPS tracking, which allows you to keep tabs on a security officer’s location at all times. Many lone worker systems take things a step further with the implementation of geofencing systems and other alarm features. By establishing geofence boundaries for a particular site, you will automatically be notified if an officer strayed outside their assigned area. This allows you to check in on your officer and make sure everything is okay.

  • Checkpoints

Checkpoints along your security officer’s route also make it easier to track their progress and safety. Lone worker systems can send automatic notifications when an officer reaches a checkpoint, or when they fail to show up on time. This allows you to become aware of a potential incident, even if your officer hasn’t called in to report a problem. 

  • Panic Button

For situations when your officer is in serious trouble, the inclusion of a panic button ensures that your officer can send an immediate alert to your office team. A list of emergency contacts – individuals security officers can call in the event of an 

emergency – should also be available to lone workers. Your site-dedicated emergency contact can then take swift action to call emergency services and get the necessary support to your officer. Being able to respond quickly to this type of notification could very well save a security officer’s life.

By providing a reliable method of monitoring your security officers during their shift, lone worker systems provide a better approach to safety while also promoting overall peace of mind. This ensures that your officers receive the protection and support they need when dispatched to new sites or locations where face mask policies and other safety protocols are in place and need to be enforced.

Debbie is an experienced writer with a demonstrated history of working in the security industry. She is based in Montreal, Canada, with TrackTik—a dynamic and cutting-edge tech company that sells cloud-based security workforce management software.


Armand Adkins, GuardsLink

2020 will forever be remembered in history as the year a pandemic forced the world to pause.  As we have reached the development of a vaccine, reports from health organizations worldwide predicted the elevated infection levels we are seeing as we enter into the new year. This means that COVID-19 will continue to heighten not only health and life risks globally, but also business and property risks. Since protecting life and properties from risks are the fundamental duties of security officers, that means they are the ones in the front line of defense. In this article, we will discuss the security risks security officers need to know about COVID-19, and steps to take as security companies and individual security officers.. 

Security Risks To Beware

Protective Gear

The respiratory virus is one that spreads through contact. For this reason, governments have mandated anyone intending to go out in public to wear some form of protective gear covering their mouth and nose. In a bid to comply, everyone is now going around with a mask, gloves, and other identity obscuring wearables, which makes it difficult to correctly identify an individual when necessary.

The use of face coverings create two immediate issues for security officers.  First is the issue of identification.  Instead of being able to see the entire face of someone being observed, security officers will need to rely more on what was once a more second level means of direct identification.  Examples of the new normal where faces are covered include, but is not limited to: clothing (whether distinctive or by color), height, tattoos, people they are with, and any identifying jewelry or technology.  Observation skills need to broaden and security must be prepared for descriptions that are more inclusion of second tier identifiers. 


We are in the era of remote working, which has been accelerated by the pandemic. Virtually everything has been moved online, including workers as well as customers. Because workers are using their own computers at home, they do not have the trusted security their office once provided, leaving them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. This is where awareness and education become essential. As the saying goes, cybersecurity is only as strong as the weakest link. A simple phishing email opened by an unsuspecting staff member could result in monetary and reputation loss running into millions of dollars; hence, an incident that could have been easily avoided if everyone was well educated.

The key to administrative operations taking place remotely is heightened communication.  We can now reach out to our colleagues in a number of almost immediate ways: call, text, chat, email, and/or walkie-talkie apps or devices.  Accordingly, if a communication does not sound “normal” to your organization, employees should be strongly encouraged to verify using a second method of communication since we may not be able to pop by someone’s desk at this time to confirm face-to-face.  We all know normal co-worker requests that don’t require verification, but when something confidential or access-based is requested, be on the safe side.  

Updated Protocols

At the beginning of last year, no one could have predicted or envisioned that the world would stand still. Most existing protocols were not equipped to handle a pandemic. In most organizations, these old protocols introduced during an employee’s orientation are what security officers are still adhering to. With the disruptions caused by the pandemic, most operations and protocols now have fundamental changes, which security officers need to be aware of. Their up to date knowledge needs to be updated through continuous training, whether online or offline. New information is being released everyday.

Training is one of the most important protocol changes that security officers and security companies have had to adjust for with the pandemic.  Training is still required to be timely and proper to obtain and maintain a compliant guard card, and it’s still the employer’s responsibility to track that their security officers are on the path to be sufficiently trained and store relevant training certificates.  That said, it has become logistically so much harder in an environment where on-site training is impacted by COVID-19 and people are remote from their administrative headquarters to meet compliance with old training practices.

Online training and tracking platforms on the market, such as GuardsLink, can address the need to modernize how training is performed and monitored to make the taking of training easier and affordable, while improving the administrative experience in keeping a well-trained and compliant workforce.  While not all training can be done online, such as firearms or baton training, many companies during COVID-19 have shifted their training, where possible, to a distance learning model that have realized administrative advantages as well.

With all company policies and procedures, sometimes it takes an event like the pandemic to revisit our systems to see if there is a newer or better way to perform the same tasks.  Much like Zoom, keep your eyes out for business solutions that may have been adopted because of COVID-19 that will now have a positive place moving forward in our businesses.

COVID-19 Safety Precautions 

At the battle frontline in the war against COVID-19 are medical professionals and security officers, in their collaboration for the protection of both life and properties. But who then, is protecting these selfless people. Below are some COVID-19 safety precautions for security guards to help minimize the occupational risks of exposure.

It is strongly recommended that the following information be addressed with your security officers to the point of it becoming second nature.  Moreover, it would be best practice to post this information is a highly visible area within your organization so that the standards and expectations of your company is understood by the security personnel you employ.

Frequent Hand Washing 

Hand washing is one of the most common COVID-19 safety precautions, even though many still do not know how it should be done properly nor do they know the effective frequency of when it should be done. As a safety precaution, security officers should develop the habit of frequently washing their hands at least every two hours. There is also a right way to wash hands: scrub thoroughly- including the back of hands- using soap, for no less than 20 seconds under running water.

Avoid Touching Your Face 

The coronavirus enters the body once it comes in contact with body fluids. Our mouth, eyes, and nose are easy entry points, especially when touched with unwashed or unsanitized hands. There is also a right way to sanitize your hands. First is to ensure you use a sanitizer with over 60% alcohol content. The second is to rub your hands together until they are dry.

Social Distancing 

Limit physical contact as much as possible, especially with known infected persons. There is also the right distance for social distancing: at least 6 feet between one person and another.  Security officers can project their presence while still respecting distances for a great majority of their responsibilities.

Even where security officers have been notified of a new policy of maintaining social distancing, marking the 6 feet distance is a better implementation.  Marking such areas in front of security stations will ensure that the security officers and those approaching the security stations will clearly understand where to stand while interacting so as to take realistic and rational precautions to protect both sides of the interactions.

PPE Kits 

Security officers are usually kitted for protection, regardless of whether they are armed or unarmed security officers. With the pandemic still ongoing, the personal protection equipment of security officers needs to be updated and optimized to handle COVID-19 issues. There are also the right elements for a PPE, which include safety glasses/goggles, FDA-approved surgical masks, disposable coveralls and disposable nitrile gloves.  It is important to use the precautions and coverings that make the most sense for the health of your security officers, while remaining effective in the field.

Final Thoughts

We need to stay the course and be smart and safe.  Even though COVID-19 has tried our patience and impacted our lives for nearly a year – and even though vaccines are beginning to be rolled out nationwide – now is not the time to lower our guards and be lax or to think that the pandemic can no longer harm our businesses or security officers.

Instead of hoping the pandemic just goes away, take the time needed to think through your procedures and systems to determine if there is a better way, whether that’s your internal or external communications, training, or operational systems.  Use the pandemic to kickstart that process.

That light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter – by safe and successful during the final phases of COVID-19 and all the rest of 2021.

Armand Adkins is CEO of GuardsLink, a provider of best-in-class systems to support physical security companies.  With 26 years of legal, compliance and operational experience, Armand leads a dynamic company that delivers two unique services to address the training and hiring needs of security companies

The GuardsLink platform (GuardsLink.com) is an end-to-end solution to give security companies the ability to provide their employees branded online training that is both affordable and quality, and includes an integrated system to monitor and manage guard training and certificates. 

SecurityHires (SecurityHires.com) is a security industry focused job board designed and built using cutting edge technology to assist in all the hiring requirements of security companies seeking qualified security officers.  

Those looking for an intuitive and robust training solution implemented at no cost and includes a revenue sharing model, or more information regarding the benefits of the industry specific job board, should contact Armand at info@GuardsLink.com or call (888) 360-9373 ext 1006.


Ki Lin Tay, Esq.and Jaimee K. Wellerstein, Esq., Bradley & Gmelich, CALSAGA Legal Advisor

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 (FFCRA), the first ever paid leave of absence law to be enacted on a national level,  mandated that certain employers provide emergency paid sick leave and expanded paid family and medical leave to eligible employees experiencing COVID-19-related issues. The FFCRA was passed in March of 2020 in the face of the COVID-19 health crisis, and seemingly just as quickly as it was enacted, it has come to an end. 

On December 21, 2020, Congress opted not to extend FFCRA paid leave obligations beyond 2020, leaving the FFCRA to expire as planned on December 31. As a result, employers are no longer obligated to provide FFCRA paid leave to employees, despite the common belief that these entitlements would be extended into 2021, to maintain some level of paid leave benefit while the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The subject of paid leave, however, was not entirely abandoned by the federal government. On December 27, 2020, the federal government signed its latest COVID-19 stimulus bill into law. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 allows employers – on a voluntary basis – to continue to provide paid leave entitlements through March 31, 2021 in exchange for a payroll tax credit.

With all of the ongoing changes in the COVID-19 legal landscape, what does this mean for employers?

FFCRA Paid Leave Obligations Expired on December 31, 2020, But Expanded Tax Credits are Available Through March 31, 2021

As of December 31, 2020, employers with fewer than 500 employees are no longer required to provide FFCRA COVID-19 paid leave benefits to employees. This includes both emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and paid childcare leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA). While employers have no further obligation to provide FFCRA benefits to employees, employers may choose to continue providing FFCRA paid leave benefits to eligible employees and will receive a payroll tax credit for such paid leave through March 31, 2021.

Importantly, while the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 extends the EPSL and EFMLEA tax credits created by the FFCRA until March 31, 2021, it does not create any additional paid benefits for employees who have exhausted their 80 hours of EPSL or 12 weeks of EFMLEA leave under the FFCRA. Instead, the bill merely authorizes tax credits through March 31, 2021, which allows (but does not require) employers to extend FFCRA benefits to eligible employees to receive the corresponding tax benefit. 

Importantly, California’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law (CSPSL) and COVID-19 Food Sector Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law (CFSSPSL), which mandate 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave for Californians employed by employers with 500 or more employees, were to be extended if the FFCRA’s benefits were extended. Thus, along with the expiration of the FFCRA’s benefits, California’s CPSPSL and CFSSPSL paid sick leave mandates have also expired as of December 31, 2020. Since the California paid sick leave benefits do not provide a corresponding tax credit, the federal extension of tax credits to March 2021 does not appear to impact CSPSL or CFSSPSL. California employers should monitor the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) website for the most up-to-date information. In addition, all employers should review any applicable state or local leave ordinances.

No Retaliation By Employers

In order to remain eligible for payroll tax credits for continuing FFCRA paid leave benefits through March 31, 2021, employers must not retaliate, discharge, discipline, or in any way discriminate against employees who seek to take paid leave as provided for in the FFCRA. While this prohibition is addressed in the context of eligibility for expanded tax credits, employers should be mindful that the anti-retaliation provisions of the FFCRA are still applicable to any past use of FFCRA benefits, even if employers do not extend benefits through the first calendar quarter of 2021. 

Employers Must Employ Accurate Recordkeeping of COVID-19-Related Leave

If employers opt to voluntarily provide FFCRA paid leave benefits between January 1, 2021 through March 31, 2021, in order to claim the expanded tax credits, employers must keep accurate records of such COVID-19-related leave and ensure that they comply with the leave limits imposed by the FFCRA. That is, employers must pay close attention to the amount of paid leave for which they will be eligible for tax credits, and should adhere to the specific limitations on paid leave afforded by the FFCRA, as such limits will apply to the available payroll tax credits. With respect to employer-provided paid leave for which tax credits will not be sought, such leave may be tracked separately and administered in accordance with the employer’s paid leave policies.

As we enter 2021, with the end of the pandemic nowhere in sight, employers must brace themselves for another challenging year of navigating COVID-19 and its substantial impact on the workplace. In the meantime, the expanded tax credits afforded by the new federal stimulus bill may provide some degree of support for employers seeking to help their employees stay afloat as they face difficult circumstances caused by COVID-19.

Lessons for Employers: Employers should decide whether to voluntarily extend FFCRA paid leave benefits to employees through March 31, 2021. If doing so, employers must continue to accurately document the use of such leave and ensure compliance with appropriate recordkeeping in order to receive the expanded tax credits. Additionally, employers should determine whether other state and local laws mandate the provision of paid leave benefits similar to those required by the FFCRA, and should closely monitor any developments and adhere to such laws, as applicable to their jurisdiction.

Need assistance with managing your workforce during COVID-19?  Contact the attorneys at Bradley & Gmelich LLP.

K. Wellerstein is a Partner at Bradley & Gmelich LLP and the Head of the firm’s Employment Department. Jaimee concentrates her practice in representing employers in all aspects of employment law, including defense of wage and hour class actions, PAGA claims, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful discharge, misclassification, and other employment related lawsuits. She also provides employment counseling and training in all of these areas. The firm acts as general counsel for many security companies in California.    

Jaimee routinely represents employers in federal and state courts and in arbitration proceedings throughout the state, as well as at administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, the United States Department of Labor, and other federal and state agencies. Jaimee assists as a Legal Advisor to CALSAGA, and is a member of ASIS International. She is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell, the highest peer rating available. jwellerstein@bglawyers.com / 818-243-5200.






Ki Lin Tay is a Senior Associate Attorney at Bradley & Gmelich LLP. Ki Lin focuses her practice on representing employers and providing strategic advice and counsel in all aspects of employment law and workplace matters, including employment law compliance, employment litigation, workplace investigations, internal audits, wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, misclassification, wage and hour, and general contract matters.

As a qualified attorney in both the United States and Canada, Ki Lin’s experience representing and defending employers in her legal practice is broad and international in scope. Prior to joining the Firm, Ki Lin served as in-house company Counsel and Head of Legal for a national human resources compliance company, arming her with a unique understanding of the dynamics from both sides of the table. Ki Lin specializes in working proactively with employers to develop business and legal strategies that mitigate the risk of employment disputes and maintain compliance with the complex and dynamic landscape of employment law. She regularly provides employers with the mechanisms needed to reduce potential liability and exposure, including employment law counseling, workplace training programs, company policy and handbooks, and all other employment-related contracts and documents used to manage legal risk. ktay@bglawyers.com



Ki Lin Tay, Esq.and Jaimee K. Wellerstein, Esq., Bradley & Gmelich, CALSAGA Legal Advisor


On September 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed another COVID-19 related bill into law – Assembly Bill 685. This new bill imposes strict notice and reporting requirements upon California employers, in both the public and private sector, and expands the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s enforcement authority to ensure safe workplace operations.


Assembly Bill (“AB”) 685 – which will go into effect January 1, 2021 – sets out several categories of employees to whom notice must be provided, and establishes detailed written notice requirements, which must be quickly prepared and distributed to employees within time limits set by the bill. The mandates set out by the new law are certainly not straightforward, so California employers will need to pay close attention to the complexities of AB 685, and should start the compliance process now to ensure they meet the requirements of this new law come the new year.


New COVID-19 Notice and Reporting Requirements

AB 685 requires all California employers, public or private, to provide “notice of a potential exposure” to COVID-19 from a “qualifying individual” within one day of being informed of a potential exposure at the “worksite.” These terms are specifically defined in the bill, as follows.


When Does An Employer Receive “Notice of a Potential Exposure”?

Under the new law, notice of a potential exposure is defined to include:


a) Notification from a public health official or licensed medical provider

that an employee was exposed to a “qualifying individual” at the


b) Notification from an employee or the employee’s emergency contact that

the employee is a “qualifying individual”;

c) Notification through the testing protocol of the employer that the

employee is a “qualifying individual”; or

d) Notification from a subcontracted employer that a “qualifying individual”

was on the employer’s worksite.


Who is a “Qualifying Individual”?

A “qualifying individual” is any person that has: (1) a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19; (2) a positive COVID-19 diagnosis from a licensed health care provider; (3) a COVID-19 related order to isolate from a public health official; or (4) has died from COVID-19.


It is important to note that if an employee provides informal notice that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 – that is, where one of the above four “qualifying” scenarios has not occurred – that employee is not a “qualifying individual” as defined by AB 685. However, it is always best practice to remove any employees that suspect that they have been exposed to COVID-19 in order to maintain the health and safety of the workplace, unless and until testing or diagnosis can be obtained to confirm they are not infected with the virus.


What is Considered the “Worksite”?

Pursuant to AB 685, the “worksite” is defined as “the building, store, facility, agricultural field, or other location where a worker worked during the infectious period”. The term “worksite” does not include “buildings, floors, or other locations of the employer that a qualified individual did not enter”. Employers need only provide notice to workers that were at the same worksite as the qualified individual.


Who Must the Employer Notify?

The new bill sets out three categories of employees to whom notice must be provided. The employer must provide written notice to: (1) all employees; (2) the employee’s exclusive representative, where applicable; and (3) the employers of any subcontracted employees “who were on the premises at the same worksite as a qualifying individual” within the “infectious period” (as defined by the State Department of Public Health).


Furthermore, if the level of exposure meets the definition of a COVID-19 “outbreak,” as defined by the State Department of Public Health, the employer must provide notice to the local public health agency within 48 hours. This notice must disclose the names, number, occupation, and worksite of the employees who have contracted COVID-19. The employer will also have an ongoing obligation to update the local public health department regarding any further confirmed cases of COVID-19.


How and When Must the Notice be Provided?

Written notice must be given within one business day after the employer is informed that there has been a potential exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite. This notice must be provided to employees in the same manner the employer “normally uses to communicate employment-related information”, as long as that method of communication will reach the employees within one business day. These methods of communication may include personal service, overnight mail, electronic mail, or text message, provided it can be reasonably anticipated that the employee will receive the communication within one business day. This notice must be provided in English as well as any other language understood by the majority of the employees at issue.

In addition, “exclusive representatives” of the employees, such as union representatives, must receive notice which contains the same information required to be indicated in a California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) Form 300 incident report, to the extent that information is known to the employer.


What Information Must the Notice Contain?

The notice to employees must contain the following information:


a) Notification from a public health official or licensed medical provider

that an employee was exposed to a “qualifying individual” at the


b) Notification from an employee or the employee’s emergency contact that

the employee is a “qualifying individual”;

c) Notification through the testing protocol of the employer that the

employee is a “qualifying individual”; or

d) Notification from a subcontracted employer that a “qualifying individual”

was on the employer’s worksite.


In terms of record-keeping requirements, employers must retain records of any written notices issued for a period of three years.


Are Any Employers Exempt From These Provisions?

Yes – the notice requirements do not apply to certain health facilities as defined in Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code, nor do they apply to employees who, as part of their duties, conduct COVID-19 testing or screening or provide direct patient care or treatment to individuals who are exposed to or have tested positive for COVID-19, unless the qualifying individual is an employee at the same worksite.


Cal/OSHA’s Expanded Enforcement Authority

AB 685 expands Cal/OSHA’s authority to shut down places of employment by prohibiting operations and entry onto the worksite if that worksite poses any risk of exposure or “imminent hazard to employees” related to COVID-19. In the event that this occurs, Cal/OSHA will provide the employer with a separate notice that must be posted in a conspicuous location.

Employer Takeaway:

Given the complexities and detailed requirements of this new bill, as well as the short window of time permitted to provide the required notices, California employers should immediately begin implementing the practices and procedures necessary to ensure compliance with these new laws in time for the new year.


For further information or assistance with preparing for compliance with these new requirements, contact your attorneys at Bradley & Gmelich LLP. We are here to help you make the compliance process as painless as possible!


Ki Lin Tay is a Senior Associate Attorney at Bradley & Gmelich LLP. Ki Lin focuses her practice on representing employers and providing strategic advice and counsel in all aspects of employment law and workplace matters, including employment law compliance, employment litigation, workplace investigations, internal audits, wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, misclassification, wage and hour, and general contract matters.

As a qualified attorney in both the United States and Canada, Ki Lin’s experience representing and defending employers in her legal practice is broad and international in scope. Prior to joining the Firm, Ki Lin served as in-house company Counsel and Head of Legal for a national human resources compliance company, arming her with a unique understanding of the dynamics from both sides of the table. Ki Lin specializes in working proactively with employers to develop business and legal strategies that mitigate the risk of employment disputes and maintain compliance with the complex and dynamic landscape of employment law. She regularly provides employers with the mechanisms needed to reduce potential liability and exposure, including employment law counseling, workplace training programs, company policy and handbooks, and all other employment-related contracts and documents used to manage legal risk. ktay@bglawyers.com


Jaimee K. Wellerstein is a Partner at Bradley & Gmelich LLP, and the Head of the firm’s Employment Department. Jaimee concentrates her practice in representing employers in all aspects of employment law, including defense of wage and hour class actions, PAGA claims, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful discharge, misclassification, and other employment related lawsuits. She also provides employment counseling and training in all of these areas.

Jaimee routinely represents employers in federal and state courts and in arbitration proceedings throughout the state, as well as at administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, the United States Department of Labor, and other federal and state agencies.

Jaimee assists as a Legal Advisor to CALSAGA, and is a member of ASIS International. She is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest peer rating available. jwellerstein@bglawyers.com


Tory Brownyard, Brownyard Group 

Earlier this year, I wrote about how a hardening market for security insurance was going to have a pronounced effect on the industry. What I did not — and could not — anticipate was the impact of a pandemic, global civil rights protests and inner city looting across the country.

It has been heartening to watch how the security industry has responded. Security firms did not hesitate to change their policies and procedures to protect officers. If they had hesitated, we may have seen more guards fall ill with COVID-19. Yet many still have questions about what this all means for them, particularly when it comes to insurance and liability. Let’s review the issues.



As was the case for many industries, early stages of the pandemic brought much uncertainty to security. It was unclear where officers would be needed most, and many expected that firms may struggle as schools, shopping centers and public spaces were shut down. Security companies acted fast to protect their staff and figure out what their clients needed most in these difficult timeswhich is why the industry hasn’t been hit as hard as might be expected. COVID-19 has highlighted a greater need for security officers, as well as their versatility.

While we saw an expected decline in business in some sectors and regions, we have also seen many security firms adapt to changing business needs and even reinvent themselves in response to COVID-19. This has meant taking on patrol duties, hospital work and alarm response jobs. As businesses have started reopening, security officers have been asked to handle temperature screening.

These temperature screenings raise many questions about risk and insurance. This may seem outside the bounds of typical post orders, yet officers who protect office buildings and other large facilities have been conducting these temperature checks. In these instances, insurance protection could be available under incidental medical malpractice coverage. Still, it is important for security firms to take measures to ensure their clients understand that temperature readings do not guarantee tested individuals don’t have COVID-19.

To limit liability, other firms have responded by contracting medical professionals to conduct temperature screenings. In this case, incidental medical malpractice coverage no longer applies as it is intended to cover security workers, not contracted medical professionals. For medical contractors, security firms would want to consider acquiring a separate medical malpractice insurance policy.

Security officers have also been asked to add sanitizing and disinfecting to their list of duties. Since the intent of security insurance coverage is usually only for security work, these tasks likely fall outside the risks insured by a security firm’s policy. This is a situation where checking in with a trusted insurance brokers is a good idea. Sanitation services may need to be classified as janitorial services or something similar, which may necessitate a separate insurance policy. Otherwise, any claims arising from sanitizing and disinfecting may not be covered.

Beyond additional responsibilities, the security industry has also had to deal with the virus itself. What happens if an officer contracts COVID-19 on the line of duty? In some instances, contracting a disease in the line of duty may be covered under workers’ compensation policies. Any claim would have to be followed by a thorough investigation to find out whether the contracting of the virus was work-related. If it is determined, that the claim is compensable, then benefits may include coverage for medical bills and indemnity pay for those who have lost time from their job. As every case is different, it is always a good idea to talk it through with your broker or insurer to make sure you have all the facts.

How the protests have impacted security

Nationwide, there have been riots and protests regarding the police force in recent weeks. As noted in news reports, police in a few areas of the country did not respond to calls in late June. This is clearly a conundrum for security officers with post orders to observe and report. For example, if a security officer works at an apartment complex that deals with intruders who damage the lobby, typically they would alert the police. Now, they may be forced to choose between enduring daily intrusions and ignoring the risk to life and property or taking on the risks of physical intervention.

Consequently, we’ve received many calls in recent weeks asking if officers are covered to act in these circumstances. Since they cannot just call the police any longer, what are the potential liabilities? In this situation, the answer likely comes down to their post orders. If the post orders clearly state the responsibility of the officer is to just observe and report, then they take on liability by acting further, even in the event police do not respond. Plus, officers typically tasked with observing may not have the training to de-escalate physical confrontations — putting the officers and others at risk.

The other issue that has emerged for security officers in recent weeks has been the actual protests. Some guard firms have been asked to step in and help secure businesses in areas affected by looting. With this significant exposure to crowds and potential acts of violence, this is a risk to be carefully weighed.

Over the past two decades, the security industry has made a dramatic shift towards careful risk management. The industry is safer than ever — and well equipped to respond to our current realities. It still helps for companies to maintain an open dialogue with their insurer to ensure any and all additions to their services are covered in their policy, particularly as responsibilities outside their normal comfort zone become more relevant in the industry.


Tory Brownyard, CPCU, is President of Brownyard Group (www.brownyard.com), an insurance program administrator with specialty programs for select industry groups. In addition to his responsibilities as President, he currently spearheads the Brownguard security guard insurance program. Tory is a highly-regarded subject matter expert in the field of Security Insurance and has contributed to industry publications such as Security Magazine and has been featured regularly in leading insurance publications. He can be contacted at TBrownyard@brownyard.com.


Chris Anderson, Silvertrac Software, CALSAGA Network Partner

We live in a modern world, where science and technological advancements drive our day-to-day life and the growth of our communities. It was a world many thought was at least mostly bulletproof against mass disruption caused by new ailments and diseases. But then COVID-19 hit, and most of us got tossed into the chaos of figuring out what to do during this unique crisis.

What happens to our families? To our businesses? To our employees? What happens to our world as we know it once this passes?

While the world continues to be blinded by noise and chaos, our loved ones either shelter-in-place as non-essential workers or go out into the world to heal and protect our communities.

The Silvertrac team has dedicated its efforts to bring some clarity to the noise by providing informative and helpful resources to security personnel and healthcare workers so they can continue to do their jobs safely and effectively.

Physical Security Impact

In addition to monitoring this crisis through a variety of sources, we have gotten our insight from clients – directly from the frontlines of security operations. This is what we know about the impact of COVID-19 on physical security operations so far:

  • Operations that solely contract with events are struggling more than operations that have diversified their clientele.
  • Operations that are diversified are seeing an increase in mobile patrol contracts for closed businesses, HOAs, and rental properties.
  • Operations are seeing an increase in domestic violence, fights, and violent crimes while shelter-in-home orders are in effect.
  • The most successful operations are ones with a firm foundation of delegation/structure, and team members willing to go above and beyond for the sake of maintaining a successful operation.


It is encouraged that all essential workers, including security officers, carry with them an authorization letter, should they be stopped by law enforcement or National Guard personnel.


Here is what we know about the financial challenges that are happening to the physical security industry as COVID-19 unfolds.


Many of the financial issues stem from the already tight margins that small-to-midsize security companies operate with, but we are also seeing problems coming from the increasing number of inoperable businesses and inability for people to pay rent or mortgages. Everyone is hurting, and it’s having a snowball effect across all industries, including ours.

Client Payments

First and foremost, Silvertrac always advises working with clients before making any drastic decisions and nullifying a contract. We believe that creating partnerships with clients, not just being a vendor who shows up for the bare minimum, is a great way to think about client relationships no matter the situation.


Second, if you are struggling to receive payment and you are unable to come up with a payment plan with your client, we have seen security operations start requiring 1-2 months of payment in advance to ensure that cash flow stays as normal as possible..


Businesses around the country – especially small businesses – continue to feel the effects of social distancing and shelter-in-place orders. The $2 trillion CARES Act was signed on March 27, 2020, as an attempt to protect these businesses and the US economy.


The most substantial part of the CARES Act is the Payment Protection Program (PPP). This $349 billion fund is meant to assist small businesses with payroll costs, mortgage interest payments, rent, utilities, and interest on debt that has been accrued before 2/15/20.


Here are some of the guidelines for applying for the CARES Act:

  • Companies must have less than 500 employees.
  • Sole proprietorship and independent contractors are eligible.
  • Anyone on payroll as of 2/15/20 is eligible for payment.
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act is not eligible for PPP.


Applying for a PPP loan is proving to be challenging. Banks are doing their best to keep up with the number of loan requests coming through while also trying to keep up with real-time government updates.


Loans are given out on a first come first serve basis so businesses are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later. Keep in mind, it is critical that all paperwork is filled out thoroughly and correctly. If mistakes are made, business owners will have to resubmit their request and go to the back of the line.


With only so much money to loan out and continual changes, it will be up to you, the business owner, to maintain contact with your bank and local SBA office to make sure that your paperwork is being processed in a timely manner.


**As of the week of 4/13/20, the allocated CARES Act PPP funds have all been accounted for. The government is reviewing how to add additional funds to this program.


In order to maintain successful security operations, finances aren’t the only driving factor. A stable foundation is what determines the winning operations from the losing operations. Making sure the correct organizational structure and proper tools are in place is what ensures a security team can operate under the pressure of an evolving crisis.

Organizational Structure

The most successful clients that Silvertrac has served over the years have implemented a combination of a structured hierarchy that reinforces delegation and team members who are willing to do whatever is needed to get the job done.


While there is no one right way to build a physical security organizational structure, at its core the structure should include a downward delegation from owner to supervisor to security officer. The more officers you have the more supervisors you will need.


Decentralized command, which promotes the ideas of trust and delegation, teaches us that supervisors most effectively manage 5-6 team members at a time. Of course, not all operations are able to maintain that supervisor to officer ratio. In that case, communication is key to the success of the operation.


Many of the ex-LEO and ex-military security business owners that Silvertrac works with have chosen to build an organizational structure that mirrors their respective agencies. This has proven to be a successful technique that not only empowers employees but provides a structure of growth for officers to move up the ranks.


Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) systems are another important part of a successful security operation. A PSIM system collects and displays information from various security systems in a central technology platform. This includes video feeds, access control, and incident reporting, to name a few.


All of these different data points are what allows a security operation to stay on top of what is going right and what is going wrong. It allows supervisors to know when and where their officers are and how quickly something is being resolved or if it isn’t being resolved.


PSIM systems are what save a security operation when a client is upset or accusing an officer of wrongdoing. Supervisors can quickly and easily go pull all of that data and provide proof of no-wrongdoing or provide a disciplinary response if something has gone wrong.


These systems also give owners and executive teams hard data to help them determine if the operation is meeting monthly, quarterly, or annual goals. If you don’t know where you are or where you are going, how is a business supposed to grow?


In the scope of COVID-19 and overall crisis management, PSIM systems can help to maintain order within the chaos and noise of the outside world. We have one client running anywhere from 70-80 Silvertrac portals at a time and continues to bring on new contracts at a very fast rate due to COVID-19. Without a system like Silvertrac in place, they would be totally disorganized and inefficient at protecting their increasingly violent communities.


If you aren’t currently running a PSIM system or are exploring your options, the Silvertrac team has a few different options that may be beneficial for your security operations.


  • Silvertrac Lite – A free, paired down version of our original Silvertrac guard management solution. Perfect for operations getting started or are struggling to maintain contracts or receive payment during the crisis.
  • Silvertrac – Our original, top-rated guard management solution perfect for small-to-midsize security operations.
  • Trackforce – Earlier this year, we joined the Trackforce Valiant team to offer the best guard management solutions to the industry that service all tiers of security operations. Trackforce is a great choice for enterprise operations and integrates with Valiant’s work-labor management solution for a true all-in-one security management platform.

Health & Wellness

Mental health is always important. However, in times of crisis, mental health must become a bigger priority. With the forced seclusion from normal life, the anxiety that comes along with numerous points of uncertainty, the fear of our loved ones being sick, and the weight of financial crisis looming, the health and wellness of security officers are important not only for their safety but also those of non-security personnel.


Here are a few tips to help keep your security operation healthy and happy so they can continue to serve our communities on the front lines:

  • Laugh – It seems silly, but laughing helps to keep serotonin levels up and the mood light.
  • Don’t schedule too much OT – Just like all of us, officers feel the weight of what is happening right now. Allow them time to decompress once they get off a shift so they can show up ready to perform at their best the next day.
  • Provide time off – Give your team members time to relieve themselves from the additional stress of being on the front lines of this pandemic. They need a mental break and will be better at their jobs after receiving some time to relax.
  • Play video games/watch a movie/read a book – These three tools can be nice escapes from the day-to-day chaos that we are all living in, especially for officers who are seeing the sins of the world out on the streets.
  • Eat healthy – Maintaining a well-balanced diet keeps your mind and body sharp. Not only will it put you at less risk to get sick (including catching COVID-19), but it will keep officers more alert on duty.
  • Fitness – Keeping your body moving helps to keep your mind and body sharp and healthy. It provides extra energy and releases the stress/anxiety that comes along with working through a crisis.


Security operations don’t have to be caught in the under-current of COVID-19 or any other crisis. Building a solid foundation and keeping up on the changes of a crisis will allow a physical security company to roll with the punches of the chaos.


Making sure you and your team are maintaining communication and a will-do attitude is helped by proper self-care and makes a world of difference when operating under the natural stress and anxiety of a crisis.


Together, these tools not only help your team to survive the crisis, but they may also help you to grow your business and your team for the better.


The Silvertrac team would like to thank all of the security operations and personnel continuing to serve on the front lines during the COVID-19 crisis. We are incredibly grateful for your efforts and sacrifices. We are here to support you during this time, however we can.


Catch a replay of the April Thinkcurity COVID-19 Q&A here!


Chris is the Founder of Silvertrac Software and has been working in the security industry for more than 25 years. He enjoys working with our clients everyday to help them grow their businesses and really enjoy what they are doing. Chris currently lives and works in Seal Beach, CA.



Shaun Kelly, Tolman & Wiker, CALSAGA Preferred Broker

We hope everyone is safe and healthy during this time.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has modified the way we live, how we interact with others and how we conduct our businesses. It is impossible to predict exactly what the world and our daily lives will look like going forward. However, we can assume that we will all be required to implement safety policies and procedures to protect ourselves, employees, clients and the public from infectious diseases. This will include providing a safe workplace/worksite and complying with new safety regulations.

To assist in providing you guidance and resources, here is information that may help you prepare for what is expected of you now and what may be expected of you in the future regarding safety policies, procedures and training:

Safe Workplace/Worksite

Cal/OSHA recommends employers to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control. Employers are required to determine is COVID-19 is a hazard in their workplace. If there is a workplace hazard, then employers must implement proper measures and provide training to their employees on their COVID-19 infection prevention methods

Employee Training

  • Encourage employees not to come to work if sick or if there is a sick member in their household
  • Identify potential source of exposures at work, especially if working with clients/public What engineering and administrative controls are being implemented to protect workers
  • What PPE is being provided to protect workers


California Department of Public Health (CDPH)

Center for Disease Control (CDC)



To stay current and up-to-date on COVID-19 Safety Compliance and Training, which seems to be changing daily, we consult with GotSafety. They have been a great resource for us and our clients. COVID-19 has brought up new safety concerns and below is a link to a webinar they provided on thatsubject. Included are guidelines to an “Infectious Disease and Response Plan”. Also, a “Training Lesson”specific to the Security Industry should be completed soon.

Click here to review the webinar to assist you with your own Safety Program


COVID-19 Claims- Latest CA Workers’ Compensation Update

Two major decisions pertaining to COVID-19 claims taking place.

The first is that Governor Gavin Newsom is prepared to issue an executive order that would create a conclusive presumption that COVID-19 illnesses and deaths sustained by “essential workers” are work-related, and therefore covered under workers’ compensation policies. Other states have already taken similar actions, by executive order or legislative enactment.

Second, the WCIRB Governing Committee voted unanimously on Friday (4/17/20) to submit proposed changes to its operating plans that would: 1) exclude COVID-19 claims from employers’ future experience rating modifications; and 2) exclude from calculation of employers’ payrolls all paymentsmade to employees who are still being paid but who are not working.

Additional COVID-19 Employee Benefits Plan Update

The implementation of an “Infectious Disease and Response Plan” is not mandatory per code (at thistime), however it is important to assess all hazards per your IIPP (which would include COVID-19) and be proactive for the health and safety of your employees and clients. So, I would say an “Infectious Disease and Response Plan” IS MANDATORY. The impact of an effective Safety Program createspositive changes in employee behavior, which in turn benefits you. Please let us know if we can assistyou with your questions regarding your Safety

Take Care and Be Safe!

Shaun Kelly joined Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services in 2005.  He specializes in all lines of property and casualty insurance for industries including contract security firms, agriculture, construction, oil and gas. Shaun received a BS in Business Administration with a major in Finance from California State University in Fresno, California. He is an active member of several industry associations, including the Association CALSAGA, the Kern County Builders Exchange and the Independent Insurance Agents of Kern County. Shaun can be reached at 661-616-4700 or skelly@tolmanandwiker.com.