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BOP Settles Guards' Unfair Labor Practices Grievance for $120 Million

On August 10, 2000, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) settled for $120,363,105 a grievance filed by the Council of Prison Locals, American Federation of Government Employees (Council) on behalf of 33,982 current and former BOP guards alleging they were being required to work without compensation. The grievance concerned guards being required to pick up equipment such as radios, gas and detail pouches before the beginning of their work shifts and return them after the end of their work shifts without receiving compensation. The amount of time this took varied between 15 and 60 minutes a day.

The settlement included a payment of $10,000 to the Council for attorney fees and another fee of $25,000 for administering the attempt to locate the beneficiaries whose checks are returned because of lack of a current address should the total amount of returned checks exceed $25,000.

Individual payouts varied from $365 for an employee with a year or less on the job and $8,040 for employees with six or more years.

The settlement included all possible claims under the Fair Labor Standard Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq. and Federal Employees Pay Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 5542, 5544, 5546, et seq. and any other pay acts. The period covered by the settlement was from May 17, 1989 through January 1, 1996, when amended BOP policies eliminated the practice of requiring its employees to perform uncompensated labor. See: In the Matter of the Grievance between Federal Bureau of Prisons and Council of Prison Locals, AFGE, Grievance # (ULP) WA—CA-00573.

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Related legal case

In the Matter of the Grievance between Federal Bureau of Prisons and Council of Prison Locals