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US court reverses Oklahoma prison workers ruling

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A federal appeals court has lifted an injunction that allowed an Oklahoma correctional workers organization to participate in a voluntary payroll deduction program.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed down the decision Monday in a lawsuit by the Oklahoma Corrections Professional Association. The group requested the injunction to prevent state officials from blocking it from participating in the payroll deduction plan for public employees.

State law required the group to consist solely of current state workers and to have at least 2,000 members in order to qualify for payroll deduction. But a federal judge blocked officials from enforcing the numerical requirement, removing the sole obstacle preventing the group from being in the payroll deduction plan.

The appeals court sent the case back to district court for more hearings.