According to a recent story from the AP, the state of Tennessee has stopped taking new inmates at its newest facility in Hartsville, TN after only 4 months of operation. “We’re holding off on sending more prisoners until CCA has an opportunity to increase its recruiting efforts and staffing,” Tennessee Department of Correction Assistant Commissioner Tony Parker told the AP.
This is certainly not the first time CCA has been in trouble for overworking its employees; in 2014, CCA paid 8 million ($8,000,000.00) to settle a lawsuit for back wages for employees at its facility in California City, CA. The company also paid $260,000 to settle overtime claims in November, 2013 for shift managers at its facilities in Kentucky. The settlement was unsealed – over CCA’s objections – after Prison Legal News (PLN), a project of the Human Rights Defense Center, intervened in the case to make the settlement public.
Also, in August 2009 the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas unsealed a $7 million settlement agreement in a nationwide class-action wage and hour lawsuit against CCA. The suit, brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act, alleged that CCA had required some employees to perform work duties “without compensating them for all such hours worked.” Specifically, the company was accused of not paying correctional officers and other employees for pre- and post-shift work that included roll calls, obtaining weapons and equipment, attending meetings and job assignment briefings, and completing paperwork.
While overtime violations abound with the largest private prison corporation in America, they also have been sued for many other employment violations as well. For example, CCA entered into a consent decree with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on October 1, 2009, agreeing to pay $1.3 million to settle allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation involving female employees at the Crowley County Correctional Facility in Colorado, operated by Dominion Correctional Services and later by CCA. In 2007, CCA paid $438,000 to settle claims of discriminatory hiring practices at the company’s Central Arizona Detention Center in Florence.
If you have worked at CCA and have not been paid overtime for all the time required of you to be spent there, or have have been the victim of any other illegal employment practice, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars for our clients for unpaid overtime.