That the DOC has decided its employees are “at will” is really ironic. They have an incredible history of retaliating against their employees for complaining about unlawful working conditions.
Two weeks ago we obtained a $113 Million verdict against them for failing to fully pay their corrections officers. We also obtained a declaratory judgment that the DOC violated its agreement with the class and their Union.
The officers are forced to go into the prison, report, get keys and radios, go through metal detector and x-ray machines, go through airlocks, scan ID, finger print IDs, and they then pass through a number of the gates to their post.
They are not paid for this and its the most important time at the prison. Here’s a link to our web page for more information.
Here’s our team in the jury box after the verdict.
The next day, the Jefferson City Paper, the News-Tribune, published an editorial outlining many of the retaliation verdicts against the DOC and noting the loss of confidence in the department.
The editorial talked about our verdict as the latest in a string of adverse court decisions:
“Thursday’s news that a jury awarded close to $114 million in unpaid/overtime compensation to corrections officers left us speechless.
Apparently, it also left the Missouri Department of Corrections speechless; they’re not talking about it.
We reported on Thursday a lawsuit filed Aug. 14, 2012, accused the department of requiring corrections officers throughout the state to do work before and after assigned shifts without being paid for that mandated work.
In a trial held before Cole County Presiding Judge Pat Joyce, a jury ruled in favor of the plaintiffs Wednesday, finding the DOC had breached its agreements with the corrections officers, and awarded the hefty price tag.
The state almost certainly will appeal, and anything can happen in an appeal.
But in the court of public opinion, it’s one more indication of problems within the department.”
Of all the places to make employees “at will” the DOC is not one of them.