by Matt Clarke
It is not unusual for guards at the short-staffed Henderson Detention Center to earn overtime. In 2012, the 73 guards at the Nevada jail earned a total of $668,000 in overtime pay, an average of $9,000 each. But none could top Michael Karnseyer, who was paid $84,166 in overtime pay for 1,438 hours of overtime on top of the $87,089 he earned for his regular 40-hours work week.
Ramseyer's overtime amounted to an average of 27 extra hours a week. It was the equivalent of 180 extra 8-hour shifts.
"Overtime is relatively small as compared to wage and benefits, but it can get away from you quickly if you don't have strong safeguards against that," said Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak. "If you need that much overtime, is it a matter of being inefficient during the normal hours, or are we short of people?"
The jail assigns available overtime shifts on a first-come-first serve basis. Guards work a combination of 8-hour and 12-hour shifts to make up their regular 40-hour workweek. For this, they are paid between $54,000 and $84,000 plus longevity pay. Jail rules require that a guard take off at least 8 hours between shifts. The jail is hiring 5 new guards, which will bring it up to full staffing and eliminate the overtime. The readiness of the jail to pay so much overtime is probably explained by its $11 million contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement which keeps it at full capacity.
Sources: Las Vegas Sun, www.correctionsone.com
As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.
Already a subscriber? Login