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DOL Recovers $400K in Back Wages for Colorado Child Care Industry Workers

December 23, 2012

The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has been engaged in an ongoing enforcement initiative focusing on the Colorado child care industry--and in recent news has uncovered a significant number of violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) wage and hour provisions.

According to the DOL news report that Newport Beach-based Vincent Howard has been watching, under the 2012 enforcement initiative, the WHD's Denver office reportedly conducted 104 investigations of child care providers in Colorado Springs, Denver and Fort Collins, that included employers with multiple locations, franchises, and facilities that operate under a Colorado state license.

The FLSA violations found by the WHD include failing to properly pay child care service workers for all hours worked, including time spent while attending mandatory training courses, and work performed before or after scheduled work shift periods. The WHD also found that employers also engaged in employee misclassification by misclassifying employees covered by the FLSA as exempt from overtime compensation. Other violations reportedly included paying workers for straight time for all hours worked, with no overtime compensation, making deductions from workers' wages that caused earnings to fall well below the federal minimum wage, and failing to properly maintain records of workers' hours and wages that were accurate.

According to Cynthia Watson, the WHD's Southwest regional administrator, the goal of the initiative is to reform the massive labor violations and to promote and ensure employer compliance with the wage and hour provisions of the FLSA. Under this 2012 initiative, the WHD has recovered over $393,000 in minimum wage and overtime wages for around 867 workers.

The child care industry is a rapidly expanding business that employs many low-wage workers who are frequently vulnerable and unaware of their labor rights.

As Vincent Howard reported in a recent Sana Ana labor attorneys blog, wage theft is an epidemic in the U.S. workplace, where employers in low wage industries, such as the child care industry, or the hospitality industry, violate state and federal labor laws that rob workers of their hard-earned rights.

At Howard Law, PC, our labor and employment lawyers believe that all workers are entitled to a workplace free from violations of employment and labor laws. If you or someone you know in the Orange County workplace has been subjected to labor or employment law violations contact Vincent Howard and our attorneys today.

US Labor Department enforcement initiative combats labor violations in Colorado's child care industry, recovers nearly $400,000 in back wages for workers, U.S. Department of Labor, November 12, 2012

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

California Department of Industrial Relations, (DIR)

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