Former Employees of a Local Security Company Demand Paychecks - KMIR News | Palm Springs, California

Former Employees of a Local Security Company Demand Paychecks

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LA QUINTA, Ca. - At least three former employees of Serna and Associates Security Services, a small security company in La Quinta, claim they haven't been paid since January when they worked at the Rose Bowl Parade.

"I was excited about the Rose Parade, and I took the time out of the New Years Eve and New Years Day to work those days because I needed the money and for him not to pay me that was very upsetting for me," says Yahaira Gonzalez.

She explains she started working as a security guard for Serna in July 2013, and she never experienced a delay with her paycheck until this event.

"Normally, he pays us in a month, and he said they would try to get a process going where they can pay us in two weeks," says Gonzalez.

Another employee who worked at the parade backs up Gonzalez's story about the verbal statement given by the owner, Steve Serna.

"It was $9 an hour for the first day and then $12 an hour for the second day for the actual parade, and I haven't seen anything," shares Valerie Garcia.

They say they tried many times to collect their paycheck even after two weeks, one month and two months passed by, but each time they called the security office, they were told to come back again or that Serna was out of the office.

However, Serna says he attempted to make amends and resolve the issue.

"I had specific conversations with at least one of those and advised that person to give us your mailing address or come down to the office to pick up compensation," says Serna.

Serna says the majority of the 35 employees who worked at the parade should have been paid in February, but he adds things don't run smoothly at times.

"Things are going to happen where someone's not going to get paid because they went out of town or left the state. It happens all the time, but they can come back and say hey I'm still waiting for compensation," says Serna.

He explains his small security company is subcontracted by larger security companies to work at events, so very often he waits as long as 30 days to be paid in order for him to start issuing paychecks to his employees.

Serna abides by his actions and says he's a "very fair person" and has "always taken care of my employees."

He says his employees come first, and if anyone who worked for him hasn't been paid to reach out to his office, so he can take care of it.

While Serna says he'll resolve any issues, Gonzalez says the security company isn't handling her situation in an efficient manner.

"It's very unfair for people that really need to work and really need money to provide for their family," says Gonzalez.

Another former employee, Brian Villareal from Riverside, also reached out to KMIR stating the same problem.

Serna and Associates Security Services has been in business in the Valley since 2008.
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