FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2008
Labor Commissioner Cites Bay Area Garment Businesses for Labor Violations
San Francisco—February 26, 2008— Officials with the State Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (Labor Commissioner’s Office) issued 41 citations totaling more than $113,000 in fines to Bay Area garment manufacturers in a recent two-day enforcement sweep.
Seven teams of investigators conducted the sweeps of 80 clothing manufacturers, silk screen businesses and embroidery companies located in San Francisco, Alameda and San Mateo counties.
The recent enforcement actions uncovered violations including failure to have workers’ compensation insurance, failure to provide itemized deductions and failure to pay overtime or minimum wage. In addition, 20 of the companies failed to keep accurate records as required by labor code, and five shops were not registered as required under state law. As a result, garments were confiscated at three businesses.
“We are here to ensure that the garment industry properly pays its employees and that the rights of these workers are safeguarded,” 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, the law 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 http://www.dir.ca.gov/DLSE/dlse.html.