State officials said the suit against Angels Learning Center, filed by the state Attorney General's Office and the Department of Commerce, is the largest minimum-wage case ever brought in Ohio.
Officials said some workers, receiving less than the state minimum wage of $7.30 an hour, were underpaid by as much as $10,000, The Columbus Dispatch reported Saturday.
The suit seeks $408,000 for the wages owed workers and $816,000 punitive damages.
"It's sad that on this Labor Day weekend, when we celebrate the contributions of the American worker, we are reminded that abuses like these still occur," Attorney General Richard Cordray said in a statement.
In another action, the state charges that a development company and construction contractors paid less than the prevailing wage to workers renovating a building to create office space for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Construction workers in trades where the prevailing wage is around $30 an hour were paid $8 to $12.
The state is seeking more than $500,000 for 65 employees.