Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
NEW ORLEANS -- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division recently launched an enforcement initiative focusing on the child care industry in Louisiana, where it has found consistent and widespread noncompliance with the minimum wage, overtime pay and record keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under the initiative, the division has conducted 73 investigations, recovering $146,105 in back wages for nearly 680 employees.
FLSA violations were found at facilities in the parishes of Caddo, Bossier, Lincoln and Ouachita. Major violators include the following businesses: Dusk to Dawn Quality Childcare, Kidspoint-Crosspoint Church, Calvary Baptist Church Daycare, Cypress Run Child Development Center, Bossier City Nursery & Childcare Center, Best Friends Child Development and Preschool, Creative Children’s Learning Center LLC, Small World Infant Child Development Center, Star Point Child Development Center and Evangel Learning Center.
“The initiative in these Louisiana parishes demonstrates the Wage and Hour Division’s commitment to a new strategic approach to achieving sustained compliance with labor laws in high risk industries that employ vulnerable workers and where wage and hour violations are most prevalent,” said Cynthia Watson, the division’s regional administrator in the Southwest. “Employers subject to the FLSA cannot escape their responsibilities to properly classify and compensate employees for all hours of their hard work. The immediate success of our initiative should remind all employers in the child care industry that the Labor Department will use every available enforcement tool to ensure compliance and accountability under the law.”
Child care is a rapidly expanding industry that employs a large number of low-wage and vulnerable workers. The Wage and Hour Division’s work has revealed that many facilities pay their employees below the minimum wage, require them to work “off the clock” or beyond their scheduled work periods without proper overtime compensation, fail to pay employees for time spent at training and improperly classify employees as volunteers or as exempt from the FLSA, resulting in minimum wage and overtime violations.
In addition to the investigations, the Wage and Hour Division is providing compliance assistance and education to Louisiana employers and industry associations regarding the requirements of the FLSA and the consequences of violating the law. The division also is conducting outreach to workers, employee associations, community organizations and other stakeholders to engage them in dialogue and encourage their participation in promoting industry-wide compliance.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.
For more information about the FLSA, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its New Orleans District Office at 504-589-6171. Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.