Bill Providing Rest Breaks for Corrections Employees Passes House

Mike Seals - March 8, 2021 11:20 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill that would allow rest breaks for Department of Corrections’ employees passed unanimously in the House today.

House Bill 1667, by Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, would direct the Department of Corrections to provide employees one 15-minute uninterrupted rest break within the first eight hours of a 12-hourr shift and one additional rest break of the same duration during the remainder of the shift.

“Our corrections employees work in an incredibly stressful environment,” West said. “Even something as small as a fifteen-minute break can help refresh their mental clarity and sharpen their focus, keeping them safer on the job.”

West ran a version of HB 1667 last year, which passed the House. He said he chose to lay the bill over on the Senate side when the Department of Corrections promised to implement this change outside of statute. A policy has not been drafted yet, so West is running the bill again this year. He said he understands the department has multiple issues to consider when giving each employee a rest break, including how short staffed the department is, but this is something he feels must be done.

HB 1667 passed the House with a vote of 96-0. It now moves to the state Senate where it is authored by Sen. Casey Murdock, R-Felt.

 

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