Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Child Care Wage and Hour Concerns

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division conducted extensive investigations focused on the child care industry in the Denver, Colorado area in 2012 and plans to continue the investigations through 2013.  As a result of the investigations thus far, they have recovered $393,000 in 103 investigations.  

The most commonly cited violations include:

  • Failure to pay employees for hours worked during mandatory training courses
  • Failure to pay employees for work completed before or after their scheduled work shifts
  • Improperly classifying “non-exempt” (hourly) employees as “exempt” (salaried) to avoid paying overtime
  • Paying “straight time” rather than time and a half for overtime hours
  • Failure to maintain proper records of employees’ wages and hours worked

The Wage and Hour Division’s Southwest regional administrator, Cynthia Watson stated that the goal of the investigations is to “…promote sustained compliance throughout the child care industry”.   The Wage and Hour Division is also conducting investigations in Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, Texas, North Dakota and South Dakota.  

Back in 2008, Mindy and I heard that the government was increasing its investigations into child care programs as child care, as an industry, is notoriously bad at Wage and Hour compliance.  At that time, Mindy wrote a tongue-in-cheek article entitled “Top 10 Ways to Encourage a Wage and Hour Audit at Your Daycare”.  Check it out and be sure that your program is in compliance before the government comes knocking. 

To help you ensure that you are staffing your program as efficiently as possible, check out our Hourly Ratio Tracking Sheet

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