Los Angeles - On September 14, 2017 the California Labor Commissioner’s Office announced that it cited 14 garment manufacturers and contractors $372,135 for labor law and garment registration violations, following inspections of 18 garment manufacturers last month in the Los Angeles area. The businesses cited employ 170 workers in the Los Angeles garment district.
“These inspections and investigations are necessary to combat the underground economy and to be sure employees are earning proper wages, have a safe working environment, and are covered by workers’ compensation should they be injured on the job,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “State investigators with the Department of Industrial Relations know what to look for and how to proceed with possible citations, arrests and prosecutions.”
The penalties included $275,835 in fines and stop orders for seven employers operating without workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Fourteen businesses were cited $34,300 for garment regulation violations, including failure to register as a garment manufacturer, display the garment registration or maintain required records.
Investigators also confiscated 5,725 illegally manufactured garments with an estimated street value of $103,000 from six of the businesses. Clothing confiscated from illegal operations cannot be sold, and will be donated to a non-profit agency that will provide the items to homeless and domestic violence shelters in the Los Angeles area.
“Garment manufacturers who thwart the law threaten workers’ rights and undermine honest employers in the industry, making it difficult for legitimate businesses to succeed,” said Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su. “These illegal entities should take note: We will shine a light on the underground economy and those who contract with unregistered contractors will also be held accountable.”
The Labor Commissioner’s office is also pursuing wage theft investigations on those employers who failed to pay proper wages under the California Labor Code.