Wage theft, discrepancy still an issue in California garment industry

Micheal Johnson

Primarily based on info from extra than 50 contractors and brands, the 2022 Southern California Garment Study launched lately by the Department’s Wage and Hour Division, uncovered violations of the Good Labor Benchmarks Act in 80{5e37bb13eee9fcae577c356a6edbd948fa817adb745f8ff03ff00bd2962a045d} of its investigations.

The findings condition that more than 50{5e37bb13eee9fcae577c356a6edbd948fa817adb745f8ff03ff00bd2962a045d} of the time, businesses illegally payed staff both portion or all their wages off the guides, with payroll records both deliberately forged or not provided.

The study also identified 32{5e37bb13eee9fcae577c356a6edbd948fa817adb745f8ff03ff00bd2962a045d} of contractors having to pay garment employees piece-price wages – a practice prohibited by the Point out of California on 1 January 2022.

In a notably egregious scenario, the investigation unveiled “a contractor compensated garment staff as minor as $1.58 per hour.”

Ruben Rosalez, regional wage and hour administrator in San Francisco, discussed: “Despite our efforts to hold Southern California’s garment market companies accountable, we continue to see folks who make outfits marketed by some of the nation’s leading suppliers working in sweatshops. Lots of people purchasing for clothing in retailers and on line are very likely unaware that the ‘Made in the USA’ merchandise they’re buying was, in simple fact, manufactured by people today earning far much less than the US regulation necessitates.”

As aspect of the study, the division done time and pricing research and identified that stitching fees compensated by suppliers to contractors were – on regular – not adequate for the contractors to appropriately pay out their workers’ necessary minimal wages.

Specifically, the research identified the common stitching price was $2.75 under the amount of money essential for every garment for stitching contractors to comply with federal wage expectations. Contractors who paid workers in compliance with the legislation been given a higher stitching payment, ranging from $17.50 to $35 for every garment.

In conjunction with the release of the outcomes for the Southern California Garment Survey, the section hosted a listening session in Los Angeles with garment personnel and stakeholders, representatives from point out and local lawyers general, and the non-earnings Garment Worker Middle and Bet Tzedek Lawful Clinic.

In 2022, investigations by the division’s Southern California district offices in Los Angeles, San Diego and West Covina, led to the recovery of extra than $892,000 in back wages and liquidated damages for 296 personnel.

The division also secured agreements with companies to check contractors to be certain FLSA compliance.

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