Corrections workers at FCI Mendota file lawsuit demanding COVID-19 hazard pay

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fifty-one correctional workers from the Federal Correctional Institution in Mendota have filed a lawsuit against the federal government, demanding hazard pay amid the pandemic, according to attorneys representing the employees.

The lawsuit was filed on February 1. It claims FCI Mendota did not provide "sufficient protective equipment nor measures to practically eliminate the hazard of exposure to COVID-19," attorneys from McGillivary Steele Elkin LLP said.

The workers want the federal prison to repay them for the hazardous conditions and "environmental differential pay, and backpay for overtime wages that were incorrectly calculated."

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McGillivary Steele Elkin LLP says at least 60 inmates and 30 staff members at FCI Mendota contracted the coronavirus so far.

According to the Bureau of Prisons website, as of February 5, six staff members had tested positive at the facility, and 27 workers had recovered from the virus. The bureau reported that one inmate was currently positive for COVID-19, and 28 had recovered.

Action News reached out to the Bureau of Prisons regarding the lawsuit and received a response from the Office of Public Affairs saying, "We do not comment on pending litigation or matters subject to legal proceedings."
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