JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Settlement checks are on the way for thousands of Missouri corrections officers after a decade-long court battle over compensation.
The state will pay out $49.5 million to current and former Missouri corrections officers as part of the settlement, according to a statement from St. Louis attorney Gary Burger. His law firm estimates that settlement checks will range from $50 to $4,900 per officer.
The class-action lawsuit was first filed in 2012, alleging the state had shorted corrections officers of pay. It contends that officers could not officially clock in until completing various procedures, like gathering equipment and getting through a series of prison checkpoints. Yet, they were immediately required to respond to an emergency as an officer, even if not officially clocked in.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a union member or not, every single corrections officer gets it,” Burger told FOX 2 in June. “If they died their kids get it. We made sure that if they died during this case, their next of kin would get it and everybody gets a fair share based on how long they worked.”
According to Burger, some officers might be entitled to a second settlement check around February 2023. The distributions are based on the number of months someone worked times the rate of pay divided by all the wages paid to the whole class during this time frame, so long as it exceeds $4,900.
The settlement will also lead to changes in the future payment system. Every officer gets an extra 15 minutes of pay every shift for the next eight years, a value of around $60 million.