Thousands of Current and Former DPSCS Employees Win Settlement Over Agency Stealing Time from Workers

*Please visit this page for a more detailed FAQ regarding this settlement.*

With union’s help, affected workers win upwards of thousands of dollars each as a result of federal Department of Labor investigation

Baltimore — Thousands of employees who have worked or currently work for Maryland’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) will receive a combined total of $13 million as a result of a federal Department of Labor investigation surrounding the illegal changing of timecards by the State, violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

“This news is a big step for us to be able to move forward with the pay that we know we are entitled to after constantly being told we weren’t. We’ve faced understaffing, constant changes in policies, and mental and physical stress in this job. This money is long overdue,” said Dorian Johnson, a Correctional Officer Sergeant at the Chesapeake Detention Facility.

This settlement comes after AFSCME Maryland Council 3, the union representing these workers, filed multiple complaints with the federal Department of Labor alleging that the State was illegally changing the time records for employees without their knowledge or permission. AFSCME filed complaints for all DPSCS hourly employees who are hourly employees.

“Hearing this news makes me finally feel like the correct things are being done. We were able to make this investigation happen because so many of us stood up together to say something was wrong with our paychecks. Now we’ll finally get back some of the money that we were entitled to in the first place,” said Oluwadamilola Olaniyan, a Correctional Officer Sergeant at Jessup Correctional Institution.

“It’s only right that we are compensated for every minute that we work. Working within the institutions, there are a lot of reasons why you could be staying beyond your shift. We should be paid for all the hard work that we are doing, for every minute,” said Brittany Cozart, a Correctional Officer at the Metropolitan Transition Center.

Settlements will vary for each individual employee depending on how their hours were rounded up or down by the Department and when they punched in and out on their timecards. The settlement covers a period of up to 3 years based on the federal Department of Labor’s findings.

“For years, we were seeing the actual time that we were working disappear from our paychecks. Now hearing this news, it feels like we are finally being heard, especially with all of the overtime, staffing shortages, and stress that we’re dealing with,” said Rownite Stevens, a Correctional Officer Sergeant at Eastern Correctional Institution.

“We are relieved to hear this news, and we thank Governor Moore’s administration for working with us to make these hardworking correctional officers whole. These workers have been on the front lines throughout the pandemic. They should never have had this time stolen from them in the first place if their paychecks had clear information about how many hours they worked and how much they were earning in a pay period. Moving forward, we will continue to demand better paycheck transparency from the State for our members,” said AFSCME Maryland Council 3 President Patrick Moran.


About AFSCME Maryland Council 3
AFSCME Maryland Council 3 represents nearly 45,000 public service workers in local, city, county and state government as well as in higher education who provide the valuable public services that our communities rely on. From Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore, we make Maryland happen.