Thousands of employees who have worked or currently work for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) will receive a combined total of $13 million, as a result of a federal investigation by the Department of Labor into the illegal change of time cards from the state, in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards law.
Numerous plaintiffs will receive tens of thousands of dollars each, said Council 3 of the AFSCME Maryland union, which represents the workers.
“This news is a big step for us to move forward with the payment to which we are entitled. We have faced staff shortages, constant policy changes, and mental and physical stress in this job. This money is long overdue,” said Dorian Johnson, Correctional Officer Sergeant at the Chesapeake Detention Center, one of the thousands of employees benefited.
This settlement comes after the union filed multiple complaints with the federal Department of Labor alleging that the state of Maryland was illegally changing employees' time records without their knowledge or permission. AFSCME filed complaints for all employees who receive hourly wages from DPSCS.
Agreements will vary for each individual employee depending on how the Department rounded up or down their hours and when they clocked in and out on their time cards.
The agreement covers a period of up to 3 years based on the findings of the federal Department of Labor.
“We are relieved to hear this news, and we thank the administration of Democratic Gov. Wes Moore for working with us to bring back these correctional workers who have been on the front lines during the pandemic,” said AFSCME Maryland Council 3 President , Patrick Moran.
“Moving forward, we will continue to demand greater transparency in the State's paychecks for our members,” he concluded.