California prison supervisors to receive $155 million settlement for unpaid time, court rules

Xavier Mascareñas/

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A San Francisco Superior Court Judge last week tentatively approved a $155 million settlement for more than 10,000 current and retired California prison supervisors who sought compensation for tasks they performed before and after their shifts.

The decision likely ends a nearly 15-year litigation battle between the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2008, with claims of unpaid overtime wages for tasks such as tool pick-up and briefings before shifts.

Similar lawsuits followed before a 2013 court trial that dismissed the claims. The ruling was appealed and led to a 2019 state Supreme Court decision that prison guards, represented by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, can’t sue the state for additional compensation. But the court ruled that correctional supervisors, who are not represented by the union, could continue with their part of the lawsuit.

“After 15 years, we’ve reached a fair settlement,” said CCPOA president Glen Stailey in an email statement on Monday. “It restores some lost compensation to our members that they deserve.”

The settlement deems that unpaid wages can date back to April 2005. Individual settlements received will vary depending on the length of service for each supervisor.

“The department values its staff and their hard work. CDCR has reached a proposed settlement, and we look forward to a final resolution in this matter,” said Vicky Waters, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman, in an email statement on Monday.

The settlement will be subject to a final approval process. CCPOA is state government’s second-largest union by membership, representing about 27,000 officers.