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Friday, February 8, 2008

Former Director: Le Chaperone Rouge didn’t screw its workers

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2008 at 5:27 AM

Sandy Thomas wasn’t too pleased by this week’s story “Minimum Rights,” about how the Ohio legislature used the minimum wage increase to actually decrease workers’ rights in the courtroom… Thomas is the former director of Rocky River’s Le Chaperone Rouge, a private day care and elementary school, which was featured in the story. The school was recently slapped with a class-action lawsuit that asserted it doesn’t pay teachers overtime. In an affidavit, Kathleen Mayer, the school’s former cook, swore that Thomas phoned a coworker and threatened to fire her if she opted into the lawsuit. But Thomas says that’s completely false. “I didn’t threaten anybody. You can go through that entire school and ask anybody,” she says. “I am not a threatening person.” Shortly after Mayer’s affidavit was filed, Thomas submitted phone records showing that she never made the call. In fact, on the day of the alleged phone call, Thomas was busy celebrating her daughter’s birthday. She says that Mayer’s claims are little more than the actions of a bitter former staffer. “[Mayer] is angry because I had to terminate her employment for six pages worth of validated reasons,” Thomas says. “That woman, I don’t know why she’d implicate me unless she’s been carrying a grudge for years.” As far as the suit’s other allegations, Thomas says they’re lies as well. “No one is forced to do anything there,” she says. “It is a place to work, we take care of children, and it’s a fine job. Everyone was paid for overtime. The record proved it. They were paid for anything that they were required to attend if they attended. It’s plain and simple it’s all documented.” Thomas resigned from Le Chaperone Rouge in January, but says her departure had nothing to do with the lawsuit. She says that her mother recently passed away from Alzheimer’s and that she is simply “downsizing” her life. “It makes [the school] look bad on my account and I don’t want that,” she says. “I don’t want that drama for Le Chaperone Rouge. It’s not fair to the owner, the teachers, the parents – and it’s not fair to me.” – Denise Grollmus

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