U.S. Department of Labor Initiative Seeks to Ensure New Jersey’s Childcare Industry Complies With Federal Wage and Hour Regulations
MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has begun an education and enforcement initiative to ensure New Jersey's childcare industry complies with federal wage laws, as the Division addresses consistent violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The initiative includes outreach efforts to provide WHD compliance assistance to educate childcare employers. WHD is working with stakeholders in the industry to provide the tools and information they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with the law.
"Childcare industry employees deserve to be paid the wages they have legally earned," said Wage and Hour District Director John Warner, in Mountainside, New Jersey. "With nearly 19,000 people employed in the industry in New Jersey, the U.S. Department of Labor wants to make sure everyone knows and follows the rules. Our goal is to ensure industry-wide compliance, and to educate employers so they can avoid violations."
Since October 2017, WHD investigations nationwide have identified employers that owed more than $1.3 million in back wages to more than 3,500 people employed in the childcare industry. In these investigations, WHD commonly finds employers paying straight time rates for overtime hours; misapplying exemptions from minimum wage and overtime requirements; making deductions from employees' pay for uniforms that bring their rates below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour; and failing to pay for all of the hours employees work.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time-and-one-half their regular rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week.
The Office of Compliance Initiatives (OCI) - housed within the Department's Office of the Assistant Secretary of Policy - fosters a compliance assistance culture within the Department designed to complement its ongoing enforcement efforts. In August 2018, OCI launched a revamped Worker.gov to provide information about workers' rights and an all-new Employer.gov to provide information about the responsibilities of job creators toward their workers.
For more information about the FLSA and other federal labor laws, call the division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at https://www.dol.gov/whd.