ST. LOUIS - Missouri’s bank accounts may soon be garnished for $118 million following a groundbreaking lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Cole County jurors spoke loudly last summer when they demanded the Missouri DOC pay corrections officers for every hour they work. Yet the state has reportedly made no changes and paid nothing while the judgment grows.
Missouri maintains the time clock does not start ticking until officers reach their post. That means officers must first get their safety equipment, go through checkpoints, and gather intelligence for their shift – all before they start getting paid. They’re not “on the clock” until they reach their post.
The lost time adds up to about 2.5 hours a week per corrections officer.
The state remains defiant and has appealed the verdict but that has not stopped the judgment from rising. Now the plaintiff’s attorney, Gary Burger, says he’s gotten the Cole County Circuit Clerk to issue garnishments against the state’s bank accounts.
Burger says he’s also filed a contempt motion against the state for not complying with the trial court’s order. A judge will consider that motion April 1.
Meanwhile, taxpayers are on the hook for the $118 million plus tab, which continues rising at a pace of more than $1.5 million a month.