FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2008
Labor Commissioner Cites Southern California Garment Businesses for Labor Violations
Los Angeles—February 26, 2008— Officials with the State Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (Labor Commissioner’s Office) issued 113 citations totaling more than $188,000 in fines to Los Angeles and Orange County garment manufacturers in a recent two-day enforcement sweep.
Seventeen investigators conducted the sweeps of 140 businesses that included clothing manufacturers, silk screen businesses and embroidery companies in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego and Orange counties. The recent enforcement action uncovered violations, including failure to register, failure to provide itemized deductions and failure to pay overtime. Additionally, the inspections found 36 companies cited did not have workers’ compensation insurance and were closed down.
“Silk screening and embroidery companies need to know that they are included in the garment industry as manufacturers, and must comply with garment industry labor and registration requirements,” said California Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet. “Garment manufacturers that operate outside the law should understand that we are serious. We will conduct detailed payroll audits and will seek additional back wages and penalties in addition to the fines assessed during this two-day enforcement action.”
Under California labor law, garment manufacturing is defined as sewing, cutting, making, processing, repairing, finishing, assembling or otherwise preparing garments, wearing apparel or accessories for sale or resale. In addition, it requires everyone engaged in garment manufacturing to be registered with the state, pay a registration fee, and post a bond. The law provides for penalties of $100 per employee for an initial violation, and $200 per employee for any subsequent violation, and allows the Labor Commissioner to confiscate garments as well as manufacturing equipment for failure to register.
The DLSE adjudicates wage claims, investigates discrimination and public works complaints, and enforces state labor law and Industrial Welfare Commission wage orders. To learn more about the functions of the California Labor Commissioner, visit our web site at www.dir.ca.gov/dlse.