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Prison guards sue over unpaid rollcall and equipment-check hours

UNDATED (WRN)   Prison guards at 10 state correctional institutions file a lawsuit, seeking payment for perhaps a few minutes of unpaid time every work day. That extra time could add up to millions of dollars for the guards.

According to the Milwaukee State Journal, the correctional officers are seeking the same back pay that a state labor referee awarded to a guard at Redgranite. A Dane County judge is being asked to grant a class action status, so about 3,000 present and former prison guards could be part of the case. The mass lawsuit was filed after Redgranite guard Paul Mertz was found to be short-changed by $1,000.The labor referee ruled against the state’s relatively new policy of not paying correctional officers for things like roll call and equipment checks before starting a work-shift.

A newly-formed guards union is paying for the legal action.

The state is still appealing the referee’s decision, and has not commented on the new lawsuit. If the guards win, an award could run into the millions of dollars.