PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled that state prison corrections officers are entitled to be paid for time spent undergoing mandatory security screenings before their shifts.
A three-judge panel's Tuesday in a case filed on behalf of corrections officers rejects the state's contention that the officers' claim for overtime compensation under state labor law was preempted by a federal statute.
The state also argued that overtime pay for the security screenings wasn't warranted because half-hour screenings before the officers' eight-hour shifts weren't essential for prison operations.
The appellate court disagreed, saying that the officers are entitled to compensation because the screenings were indispensable for “maintaining safe and secure prisons" and thus are part of the officers' workdays.
The case now goes back to a lower court for further proceedings based on the higher court's decision on the legal issues.