Missouri prison workers sue state for overtime pay

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 | 1:21 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — A union representing Missouri Corrections workers has accused the state of manipulating work schedules to avoid paying overtime.

The Missouri Corrections Officers Association contends that prison workers have been forced to take compensatory time off to avoid earning overtime pay by exceeding a 40-hour work week. The union says workers were given almost no notice before being forced to use compensatory time and should have been given 14 days notice.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections declined to comment Wednesday. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday.

It's the second time in recent years that the Corrections Department has faced litigation over payment. In 2005, a state trial judge ruled parole workers were illegally denied a raise. The state eventually agreed to make back payments.

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