*Due to the high volume of calls, please email: email@example.com
Please read the updated FAQs below:
When will I get my payment? The first payment was mailed on November 18, 2022 and the second payment will be mailed in February 2023.
How much am I getting? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request your check amount.
I lost my CPT ID and passcode; how do I get a new one? Your CPT ID and passcode can be found on the cover letter / claim form enclosed with your settlement check. Please disregard the CPT ID and passcode you received by email and/or postcard.
Oct 11, 2022 Update: Final Approval of Class Action Settlement!Judgment and Order Granting Final Approval of Settlement
Frequently Asked Questions In Missouri Corrections case now that the Court has Approved the Settlement:
This is an update on the settlement payment as of November 10, 2022. You should be getting your checks from CPT Group the week of November 14, 2022.
The claims administrator, CPT Group has calculated the first of the two payments you are getting. A total of $25,989,056.20 is being sent to class members next week.
How much am I getting? Each class member's check will range from $50 to $4,900. No one is receiving more than $4,900. The average check is about $838. Your distribution is based on the number of months you worked times your rate of pay divided by all the wages paid to the whole class during this time frame.
Why am I only getting this amount and not more? There are a lot of class members over a long period of time. We settled the claim for past damages for a total of $49.5 million. This was 1/3 of the total damages to the class. But we also got a 15 minute per shift benefit for at least 8 years in the future to benefit the class, valued at over $54 Million. We had a risk of loss, risk that the court would find some activities not compensable, that a jury would not give a large amount and that the State retained significant immunity defenses. These were described in filings with the Court and can be found on the website.
Who should I call to complain or where do I go for more information? You can call the toll free number to request the notice or ask questions: 1- 888-598-2935. You can email the Settlement administrator at: email@example.com. You can get more information at the website, or copies of notice of the settlement at www.mdocsettlement.com. Please do not call me or my office. CPT is appointed by the court to handle these matters.
Are taxes coming out of my payments? Yes. As agreed in the Settlement Agreement by everyone, the payments to the Class Members are allocated as 50% back-payment of lost wages (taxed via W-2 form) and 50% payment of damages and interest (taxed via 1099 form). We believe this allocation is reasonable. The settlement administrator will issue Class Members a W-2 for 50% of the payments and a 1099 for the other 50% of the payments. The claim administrator is responsible for and will pay any Employer portion of taxes on the Wage portion of the payments to Class Members. No opinion concerning the tax consequences of the Agreement is made to any Plaintiff or Certified Settlement Class Member or will be made by Class Counsel, Defendant, or Defense Counsel; nor is any Party or their counsel providing any guarantee regarding the tax consequences of the Agreement as to any Plaintiff or Certified Settlement Class Member. Each Class Member is responsible for his/her/its tax reporting.
Is there a second payment? Yes - Around February of 2023 - but it will only be 1/5 or less of the amount you are getting now.
Can I challenge my distribution? Yes - fill out the form on the back of the letter you are getting with your distribution and mail it to CPT at the address indicated on the form.
And - I will do a facebook live question and answer session on Monday November 14, 2022, at 9 am CST to answer additional questions. To watch, go to the Burger Law FB page.
When will I get my payment? The first payment will be mailed out the week of November 14, 2022 and the second payment will be mailed in February 2023.
How much am I getting? We do not know the amounts at this time but we are working on it. You will know in a couple of weeks.
Is there a formula I can use to calculate what my settlement will be? No. It is based on your time worked at your wage during the class time divided by the total time and hourly rate of everyone in the class.
I thought it was supposed to be paid out in October/December. Why is it now November/February? The first payment got moved back a couple of weeks. For the second payment, we need to wait 120 days under the settlement agreement for the amount of any unclaimed, undeliverable, or uncashed settlement checks to be determined. Therefore, if checks are issued towards the beginning of November, and checks expire after 120 days of issuance, we believe the second payment would be towards the end of February.
Are taxes coming out of my payments? Yes. As agreed in the Settlement Agreement by everyone, the payments to the Class Members is allocated as 50% back-payment of lost wages (taxed via W-2 form) and 50% payment of damages and interest (taxed via 1099 form). We believe this allocation is reasonable. The settlement administrator will issue Class Members a W-2 for 50% of the payments and a 1099 for the other 50% of the payments. The claim administrator is responsible for and will pay any Employer portion of taxes on the Wage portion of the payments to Class Members. No opinion concerning the tax consequences of the Agreement is made to any Plaintiff or Certified Settlement Class Member or will be made by Class Counsel, Defendant, or Defense Counsel; nor is any Party or their counsel providing any guarantee regarding the tax consequences of the Agreement as to any Plaintiff or Certified Settlement Class Member. Each Plaintiff (including Class Counsel) and Certified Settlement Class Member is responsible for his/her/their tax reporting.
What if I did not get notice, where do I go to get more information? You can call the toll free number to request the notice or ask questions: 1- 888-598-2935. You can email the Settlement administrator at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can get more information at the website, or copies of notice of the settlement at www.mdocsettlement.com.
This amazing win has been covered by numerous news outlets and publications. See the settlement announcement from Missouri Lawyers Media here.
Class Member Notices
The following notices were sent to all class members.
June 1, 2022 Update: Settlement Agreement
We have entered into a Settlement Agreement to settle this case. We think this is a good and fair settlement for the class and will resolve all claims now.
MDOC will create a Settlement Fund of $49.5 million, and also compensate Corrections Officers I and II an additional 15 minutes per each shift going forward for eight years in addition to the Settlement Fund. The value of the future benefits is $54 to 62 Million.
The amount of a class members cash award will depend on the allocation determined by the Claims Administrator, the costs of administration, and the amount the Court awards for attorneys’ fees and costs and service awards.
The details of the Settlement are available in the following documents we filed with the Court on June 1, 2022:
Recent News Coverage About the Case
See recent press coverage about the settlement:
- Missouri set to pay out $128 million in prison worker overtime case | STL Today
- Missouri to spend more than $100M settling pay claims for corrections officers
Answers to Commonly Asked Questions
How much will I get? We do not know yet and will not know for some time – until at least September 2022.
When do I get a share of the proceeds? In two payments, one by November 2022 and one likely in February 2023.
Can I update my information? Yes, fill out this form.
When do I get my extra 15 minutes a shift going forward? July 2022.
If the class member is deceased can relatives get their share? Yes, next of kin can. Please update your information here. If you update the information on the form for a deceased class member - list their information and out your (next of kin) information in the additional comments section. For instance, “Jane Doe died on ___, I am her son and my contact information is: …”
What are my options? You have four options: First, do nothing after receiving your initial payment other than depositing your check, in which case your claims against Defendant will be released and you will be bound by the orders and judgments of the Court. Second, if you receive an intial payment from the Claims Administrator, you can file a challenge to that allocation by filing a claim form online here at the settlement website and seek a recalculation of your initial distribution of benefits from the Settlement Fund; remaining in the Settlement and accepting your payment means that your claims against MDOC will be released and you will be bound by the orders and judgments of the Court. You can also file the Claim Form via regular mail. Again, your claims against Defendant will be released and you will be bound by the orders and judgments of the Court. Third, you may exclude yourself from the Settlement by mailing a signed letter to the Settlement Administrator, indicating that you wish to be excluded from the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you will receive no cash award from the Settlement, but you will keep any claims you have against Defendant to the extent that they are not barred by applicable law and have not been resolved by the Court. Fourth, as long as you have not previously opted out of this class you may object to the Settlement and indicate whether you plan to appear at the Fairness Hearing, which is scheduled to occur on _______ at _______.* You may appear at the hearing, either yourself or through an attorney hired by you, but you don't have to. The deadlines for excluding yourself and objecting are being set by the court The Detailed Notice available on the website explains how to exclude yourself or object. For more information, call or visit the website.
What about my other questions? Please read the long form notice above or other settlement related documents.
Details about the case: Below is the older page about this case with information about the past history. There is no trial and the case is being settled.
*Date to be decided by the court
Information About the Case
The Circuit Court of Cole County certified a class action of employees of the Missouri Department of Corrections who worked as a Corrections Officer I or Corrections Officer II from August 14, 2007, to present. You are considered a member of this class if you meet these criteria. If you haven't been contacted by our firm, please click here to update your information.
We proved that the Missouri DOC broke its agreement with the class by not paying straight-time or overtime wages for pre- and post-shift activities which the DOC required employees to perform.
March 2022 Update
A new trial has been scheduled for June 14-17 and June 21-24, 2022.
June 1, 2021: Hootselle v. Missouri Department of Corrections Reversed
The Missouri Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the trial court’s judgment - and remanded it back to the state court for a new trial. This was a unanimous decision of all six Judges handed down June 1, 2021. The case was transferred from the Supreme court back to the trial court. We appeared before our new judge and set the trial of the case June 7, 2022 in Cole County Circuit Court.
Although we obviously do not agree with the reversal of the money verdict, we and our clients remain unbowed and ready to win the case again in our second trial. The Supreme Court Judges put a lot of work and thought into their decision.
And there are a lot of pretty significant victories affirmed by the Supreme Court in the remand. These are not silver linings – but rather first of their kind wins in Missouri. The Supreme Court affirmed that: this is an appropriate class action as certified, there is no sovereign immunity from this claim, the contract, in this case, is established and enforceable, it was breached by MDOC, and significant damages resulted therefrom.
In the opinion, the Court also found that:
- The time the class spends “on duty” is compensable as a matter of law under counts III and VI: “once they are in the presence of inmates and “on duty and expected to respond” to emergent incidents, they are performing the work they are employed to do.
- “Corrections officers are required to perform essentially the same duties during pre-shift and post-shift time as they are required to perform when on shift.” MDOC has admitted in filings that Officers are on duty the entire time they are performing their pre- and post-shift activities, so all of that time remains compensable. See SOF 71, 72, and 80
- Time spent “Picking up and returning equipment” is compensable as a matter of law.
- Time spent after the first compensable activity until the last is compensable under the continuous workday rule, re-affirmed by the Supreme Court.
- Regarding the other activities, the court “is not finding on the merits that those activities that were not shown to be compensable affirmatively are not compensable”
- “If the remaining activities are indispensable and integral to the corrections officers’ work or if they occur after the first and before the last principal activity, they are compensable.”
The Court said it is not bound by Aguilar “and doing so would likely result in the very issue the Portal-to-Portal Act was passed to address – unexpected liabilities due to an overly broad definition of compensable work.” So this was the out it found for the state.
We will go forward to trial to again prove our damages. We hope to get a large recovery for the really large loss the corrections officers have and continue to suffer.
Gary argued the case to the Missouri Supreme Court on April 22, 2020
The court has taken the case and will render a decision. To listen to the argument, click here.
To read an article about the argument, click here.
April 3, 2020 Update: We filed our Response brief with the Missouri Supreme Court.
January 9, 2020 Update: We filed opposition to the state's request for transfer to the Supreme Court.
The Missouri Supreme Court asked Respondents (the Class) to respond to the Request for Transfer the MDOC file with the Supreme Court. We filed our Opposition with a 6-page limit.
December 10, 2019 Update: The state has submitted an application for transfer to the Supreme Court.
The Department of Corrections has submitted an application for a post-opinion transfer to the Supreme Court.
October 18, 2019 Update: The state is doubling down on their bad decision.
The Department of Corrections continues to attempt to deny a court order to change their clock-in system, which would require the payment of officers the moment they begin their work.
October 8, 2019 Update: Missouri Department of Corrections Appeal was Denied!
The Court of Appeals for the Western District of Missouri denied the appeal by the Missouri Department of Corrections. The court of appeals affirmed the entire trial court judgment and denied all 6 points on appeal asserted by the DOC.
Are You An Underpaid Corrections Officer?
Below, you will find more information about the case, significant pleadings, answers to questions class members might have and a form to make sure we have your updated information. This is the official web page for this class action. We have kept class members abreast of developments and will continue to do so. For other areas of injury practice or our other successes, visit our home page.
The front line Corrections Officers and Sergeants testified at the trial that the Department of Corrections required them to perform pre- and post-shift work but refused to pay them for it. The jury awarded all compensation requested by the Plaintiff class for the 11 year class time period to pay for the wages earned in pre- and post-shift activity by these 13,000 class members.
Appeal Argued and Submitted to Court
Gary Burger argued the appeal to the Western District Court of Appeals on Tuesday, Sept 10, 2019. The judges asked impressive questions of both the department of corrections and class counsel. The judges were well prepared and addressed the key issues in the case directly. A decision in a case like this takes months to prepare and we will update with any additional information. Here is a recording of the oral argument.
Correctional Officers Deserve To Be CompensatedThe verdict came after years of litigation spearheaded by Gary Burger of Burger Law. The firm is proud to have been able to represent these hard-working and honorable men and women.
Corrections officers fought the Missouri Department of Correction’s dishonorable system. Mr. Burger requested that the jury hold the Department of Corrections responsible for not fully paying their employees, adding, “When the Department of Corrections breached its agreement with its officers, it is responsible for all the harm it caused,” in the verdict.
We hope the Department of Corrections takes this opportunity to pay this verdict, do what's right, and change the system that affected thousands of hard-working officers that didn't get fully paid.
The verdict is big news for our attorneys who continually strive to provide justice and compensation for their clients. For more information about this case or legal representation, Gary Burger can be reached at (314) 542-2222 or email@example.com. We've provided a list of the pleadings at the bottom of this page.
You can look up the case results from The Circuit Court of Cole County on case.net by searching for case number 12AC-CC00518.
$113 Million Judgment Made to Missouri Corrections Workers Denied Pay by the MO Department of Corrections
On August 15, 2018, a Cole County jury rendered a verdict for a class of Missouri Corrections officers against the Missouri Department of Corrections in the amount of $113,714,632.00. This was slightly over what lead trial attorney Gary Burger of Burger Law requested from the jury. Many thanks to the Cole County court personnel and the jury for their hard work and time devoted to the case.
Information about the Case
The Circuit Court of Cole County certified a class action of employees of the Missouri Department of Corrections who worked as a Corrections Officer I or Corrections Officer II from August 14, 2007, to present. You are considered a member of this class if you meet this criteria. If you haven't been contacted by our firm, please click here to update your information.
We proved that the Missouri DOC broke its agreement with the class by not paying straight-time or overtime wages for pre- and post-shift activities which the DOC required employees to perform.
Hawley's pursuit of appeal in prison lawsuit could cost Missouri taxpayers $27,000 a day
As part of the August verdict, Cole County jurors agreed to tack a charge of 9 percent interest on the payout, meaning that for each day the thousands of officers are not compensated, taxpayers are billed an additional $27,000. Over the course of a year, that could amount to nearly $10 million in added costs.
Kurt Erickson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
No new trial in Department of Corrections lawsuit
During a civil trial Aug. 10, Joyce ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, finding the DOC had breached its agreements with the officers.
Jeff Haldiman, News Tribune
Taxpayer tab rising as Missouri Department of Corrections defies court judgment
The Department of Corrections is defying a court order to pay Corrections’ Officers the minute they walk in the door.
Chris Hayes, Fox2Now
Missouri faces a $118 million bill for prison guards' back pay as House finishes budget work
The Missouri House Budget Committee on Monday was still processing news that the state would need to pay $118 million in back pay to employees of the Department of Corrections..
Kurt Erickson St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Rude Awakenings: Uncovering the garnishment of state bank accounts
But the story that the state of Missouri has its bank accounts garnished to the tune of $118.5 million is too hot to dawdle. The initial reaction I heard Friday from State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick is defiance..
Rudi Keller Columbia Tribune
No response from Missouri leaders on $118M garnishment against its bank accounts
Usually you’ll hear about a garnishment against someone like a deadbeat parent who refuses to pay up. In this case, involving Missouri employee back pay, attorney Gary Burger says it’s the government that’s defying the law...
Chris Hayes, Fox2Now
Frequently Asked Questions
Given the many inquiries our firm is getting about the case, see below:
- There is only a verdict and judgment — no money has been paid yet.
- We do not know when any payment will come, and if there is an appeal, it may take a couple of years.
- We feel the verdict is well supported by Missouri law and the evidence, but the DOC can appeal this verdict.
- We do not need you to contact Burger Law. We have a list of all of the class members and sent a notice. You can update your information here.
- We do not know payment amounts to class members yet, which will be overseen by the court. If we get a recovery, we would recommend payment amounts that scale to the amount of time the employee's tenure.
- The workers compensation attorneys at Burger Law represent personal injury victims and their families throughout Missouri and Illinois. Feel free to reach out to Burger Law and our attorneys to learn more about our services.
You can view the plaintiff's petition and other documents by clicking on the tabs below.
Missouri DOC Class Action
The court has certified this class, approved the plaintiffs identified above as class plaintiffs, and approved Gary Burger as class counsel. The court approved the class notice that was sent long ago. This is an opt out class action, meaning you don't have to do anything to be a part of it as long as you meet the criteria, i.e. be a COI or COII for the Missouri DOC from August 2007 to date.
Review the below links for copies of documents related to the Missouri Department of Corrections Class Action Case. You can reach Gary or a member of his office at (314) 542-2222, or email Burger Law if you have any further questions. You can click here and look up the case status on case.net. Search for case number 12AC-CC00518.
Missouri Correction Officers Class Action Documents
- Application for Transfer
- Important Notice
- Motion for Rehearing
- Appeal Won
- Supreme Court Brief
- Respondent's Brief 7.1.19
- Appendix+ (Respondent's)
- Motion to Contempt
- Motion to Stay
- Suggestions in Opposition
- Notice of Appeal
- Final Order
- Amended Judgement
- Motion to Amend Judgment & Approve Plan Distribution
- Order Denying Motion to Decertify
- Motion to Amend Petition & Denying Motion for Judgement on Pleadings
- Opt-Out Form (DOCX)
- Opt-Out Form (PDF)
- DFT Motion
- Motion for Continuance
- Order Continuing Trial
- Order of Partial Summary Judgement
- Statement of Facts
- Plantiff's Motion for Partial
- Memorandum in Support
- Reply in Support