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Stefanik says she helped FCI Ray Brook COs with COVID get paid

The Federal Correctional Institute at Ray Brook is seen in April 2016. The buildings were originally built to house athletes for the 1980 Winter Olympics in nearby Lake Placid. Converting it to a prison afterward was part of the original plan. (Enterprise photo — Antonio Olivero)
Rep. Elise Stefanik (Official congressional photo)

RAY BROOK — U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik says she has helped ensure pay for correctional officers at the Federal Correctional Institute at Ray Brook who tested positive for COVID-19 but were denied their request for continuation of pay.

These COs may have been been paid if they used accrued leave time, but otherwise would not have been, according to Stefanik spokesperson Maddie Anderson.

Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, said she has been in contact with these COs’ families during the COVID-19 crisis and worked with the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs to highlight that COs should be considered high-risk employment when filing claims under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act, which simplifies the process for claims to get approved. After her advocacy, she says, the Department of Labor worked with the federal Bureau of Prisons and approved COs’ continuation of pay claims.

“Our correctional officers have been working in high-risk environments with exposure to COVID-19,” Stefanik said in a press release. “I have consistently advocated for them and worked to secure this result at the federal level to ensure they receive their rightfully earned compensation. I will continue to work to provide relief to our corrections and law enforcement communities and their families, many of whom have sacrificed their personal health and safety to protect our communities throughout this challenging time.”

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