The Teamsters Union is accusing the Florida Department of Corrections of cheating prison workers out of nearly an hour of pay each day, according to a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Labor yesterday.
But the Florida Police Benevolent Association, the union that now represents the state’s 20,000 correctional and probational officers, counters that the Teamsters, in an elections battle with the PBA over the prison workers, are “showboating.”
The one-page complaint, filed in Orlando, alleges the state is in violation with federal labor laws because correctional officers are not being paid for the time it takes for them to go through security and receive equipment such as pepper spray before they can clock in to work. They also have to clock out before dropping off the equipment at the end of the day, according to the complaint. The Teamsters are asking the Labor Department to investigate the practice.
“Correctional officers suffer because of wage theft by the FDOC and also because they have had no pay increases for the past seven years,” said Michael Filler, director of the Teamsters Public Services Division. “All officers who put in a fair’s day work are legally entitled to a fair day’s pay.”
Federal courts in other cases have ruled that the time spent before clocking in is compensable, the complaint says.
But the PBA executive director Matt Puckett said the Teamsters’ latest complaint is just grand-standing because the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled on the issue.