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United States Court of Federal Claims
October 29, 2021, Filed
No. 20-1183 C
[*498] OPINION AND ORDER
In this collective action, correctional officers allege that the Government has required them to work more than forty hours per week without paying them overtime. They contend that they must perform certain pre- [*499] and post-shift activities that are central to their jobs, but the Government does not pay them for this overtime work. The gravamen of the Government's motion to dismiss is that Plaintiffs fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. In the alternative, the Government seeks a more definite statement of Plaintiffs' claims. But the Government's motion seeks to hold Plaintiffs to a pleading standard not required by law or this Court's precedent. Therefore, the Government's motion is granted-in-part and denied-in-part.
I. [**2] Factual Background1
Plaintiffs are current and former correctional workers employed by the United States at the Federal Correctional Institution Sheridan or the adjacent Federal Detention Center in Sheridan, Oregon (collectively, the "Institution"). ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 1, 4. The Institution contains over 1,000 inmates charged with or convicted of various federal crimes, including violent and drug-related offenses. Id. ¶ 8. Serving as correctional officers,2 Plaintiffs allege that their "primary job duty is to maintain the safety and security of the Institution." Id. ¶ 9. Plaintiffs execute their job duty at assigned posts throughout the Institution, most of which are staffed for 24 or 16 hours per day while others are staffed for only 8 hours per day. Id. ¶ 10. Regardless of which post, Plaintiffs each work a single 8-hour shift per day, with three total shifts at the 24-hour posts and two total shifts at the 16-hour posts. Id. ¶ 11.
In addition to the work at their posts, Plaintiffs engage in other required activities before and after their shifts. For example, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Plaintiffs undergo a health screening involving a temperature check and [**3] symptom questionnaire upon first arriving at the Institution's grounds before entering the parking lot. Id. ¶ 20. Plaintiffs then clear a staff screening involving walking through a metal detector and placing their duty belts and other required equipment through an x-ray machine. Id. ¶¶ 19-20; ECF No. 8 at 4-5. After this screening, Plaintiffs collect and don their duty belts and other necessary equipment. ECF No. 1 ¶ 19.
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156 Fed. Cl. 495 *; 2021 U.S. Claims LEXIS 2377 **; 2021 WL 5045268
ADE ADEGBITE, et al., Plaintiffs, v. THE UNITED STATES, Defendant.
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Civil Procedure, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Governments, Courts, Courts of Claims, Pleadings, Complaints, Requirements for Complaint, Jurisdiction, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Amount in Controversy, Federal Government, Claims By & Against, Jurisdiction Over Actions, Concurrent Jurisdiction, Jurisdictional Sources, Statutory Sources, Business & Corporate Compliance, Wage & Hour Laws, Scope & Definitions, Overtime & Work Periods, Labor & Employment Law, Remedies, Damages, Backpay, Class Actions, Regular Rate, Statutory Application, Portal-to-Portal Act, Labor & Employment Law, Wage Payments, Responses, Defects of Form