Prison Guards Move Forward with $114M Owed Wage Verdict

After a long-standing battle against Missouri state’s Department of Corrections, prison guards of these facilities get to keep their $114 million verdict for owed wages.  A three-judge panel for the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld a jury verdict and judgment in favor of the prison guards that claimed they went unpaid for tasks they performed before and after shifts commenced and ended.

Some of the off-the-clock responsibilities alleged by the prison guards included logging in or out of the facilities, obtaining assignments from supervisors, clearing security checkpoints, putting on the proper equipment, and ensuring incoming guards were well informed on the latest information which often included passing through multiple security gates in order to share information to ensure smooth shift changes. Combined, these unpaid tasks totaled more than half an hour each day. More than 13,000 prison guards stand to benefit from the $114 million verdict if the state steps up and takes responsibility for their actions in this appellate process.

Off-the-clock claims are prevalent in many industries. If you find yourself starting or finishing up job responsibilities before or after you’ve clocked in or out, check your pay stubs. Your company may not be compensating you properly for your time and you may be owed wages. Tasks like putting on/taking off equipment or gear, shift meetings, cleaning up work stations, closing out registers, and prepping for incoming shifts are just a few responsibilities companies often request their employees complete off-the-clock.  Contact an employment lawyer to discuss your rights and see if these tasks are compensable. Call Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP for a free and confidential consultation at (212) 300-0375 or visit our website for additional information.