LOS ANGELES— On September 5, 2018, the Labor Commissioner’s Office announced it cited six garment contractors $573,704 for labor law violations after uncovering a scheme where the contractors illegally operated under one license to avoid compliance. In addition, four of the contractors did not have valid workers’ compensation coverage for their employees.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office discovered that most of the 57 employees at the contractors’ building in downtown Los Angeles worked up to 65 hours a week for less than minimum wage. Two workers, ages 15 and 16, were operating industrial sewing machines in violation of California’s child labor laws.
“State investigators at the Labor Commissioner’s Office work to protect employees and to protect law abiding businesses,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “No worker should be subjected to the longest of days for the smallest of pay.”
The Labor Commissioner’s investigation began in July after receiving a lead. Investigators visited the worksite, operating under the name Pure Cotton, Inc. According to investigators, the owner Kyung Ho Choi told them he collected rent but was not involved in the making of garments. His brother-in-law, Kuong Chan Kim, claimed that all of the workers were employed by his company, Union Supply, Inc., which was registered as a garment manufacturer. Further investigation revealed four other garment manufacturing contractors were operating in the building without garment licenses or workers’ compensation insurance. Kim reportedly charged each contractor a fee for the use of his license and insurance coverage, which concealed the actual number of workers.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office issued stop work orders to the four contractors operating illegally under the Union Supply, Inc. license and their inventory was confiscated. They were cited for violating wage statement and garment registration provisions, and failure to cover employees with workers’ compensation insurance.
- Cindy Soon Yun, with 20 employees, was cited $118,600. She was also cited for violating child labor laws.
- Sun Park, with 10 employees, was cited $158,855.
- Pil Chang, with 8 employees, was cited $37,450.
- Francisco Tecum Son, with 4 employees, was cited $18,000.
- Union Supply, Inc., with 15 employees, was cited $240,300.
- Pure Cotton, Inc., which has no employees, was cited $500.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office is currently pursuing wage theft investigations of the contractors.