Crème de la Crème, a Denver-based child care provider with nationwide locations, is paying $41,440 in back wages to 354 current and former workers following violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime and record-keeping provisions.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division led the investigations and discovered violations at 21 day care centers in Colorado, Texas, Georgia, Kansas, New Jersey, Virginia, Ohio and Illinois. The systemic FLSA violations include failure to properly compensate overtime hours, which is hours worked past 40 in a workweek, after the company did not pay employees for hours at mandatory training courses and work performed before or beyond scheduled shift periods. The investigation even found employees were hired to teach soccer and tennis at the facility but were misclassified as independent contractors. This resulted in those employees being denied appropriate compensation. Crème de la Crème also did not maintain proper records of employees' work hours and wages.

"Child care employees work long hours looking after children's safety yet are often denied the wages and workplace protections guaranteed by law," says Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the division in the Southwest. "We are committed to strengthening compliance in this industry, which is important not just for the workers but for all the families depending on them for quality child care services. We are pleased that these workers finally will be paid their rightful wages and, as demonstrated by our ongoing initiative, will continue to investigate Colorado child care providers to remedy violations and ensure sustained compliance with the law."

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