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Ruling: Prison guards entitled to pay for pre-shift checks

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Posted at 10:28 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 00:28:50-05

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona Court of Appeals ruling says state prison corrections officers are entitled to be paid for time spent undergoing mandatory security screenings before their shifts.

The ruling Tuesday rejects the state’s contention that the officers’ claim for overtime compensation under state labor law was preempted by a federal statute.

The state also argued that overtime pay for the security screenings wasn’t warranted because half-hour screenings before shifts weren’t essential for prison operations. The appellate court disagreed, saying that the officers are entitled to compensation because the screenings were indispensable for maintaining safe and secure prisons and thus are part of the officers’ workdays.