I recently had the pleasure of representing hundreds of correctional officers in a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
We filed the case in federal court alleging the employer required my clients to perform pre- and post-shift duties off-the-clock without pay. Here's a link to our website page with the class action notice.
We represented about 350 officers at four prisons where Management Training Corporation was hired to provide prison staffing.
We litigated this case for over half a year conducting written discovery. We then requested that the Court stay litigation and allow the parties to mediate the case.
Before mediation, we distributed an online survey to the hundreds of correctional officers asking what pre- and post-shift duties they performed and how much time it took. We also hired an expert statistician to calculate the damages of the class.
After all this work, we were able to successfully mediate the case. We were honored to represent the correctional officers and proud to get a great settlement of $130,000!
Similar to our case in Missouri, corrections officers entering the correctional facilities where they work, and prior to proceeding to their work assignment posts, my clients were required to pass through security screenings, retrieve equipment including handcuffs and pepper spray, verify their identity, receive job assignments, pass through security gates, walk to their post and receive a pass down briefing from the prior shift.
They were also required to do much of this activity after leaving their posts.
The FLSA requires that employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek.
In addition, under the continuous workday rule, compensation is required from the first work-related activity through the last, even if activities in between might not otherwise be compensable.
We alleged that pre- and post-shift duties are integral and indispensable to correctional officers’ primary job duties and therefore compensable.
The damages and recovery in this case was limited because MTC stopped its practice of not paying for pre and post shift work after we filed suit.
And they had a good argument that they should not have their damages doubled as they had a district court ruling approving their conduct. But that decision was reversed in 10th Circuit Federal appellate court ruling. Here's a link to that decision.