After a sweep on September 7 and 8, California Labor Commissioner's Office investigators have fined 18 Los Angeles garment contractors and manufacturers a total of $682,344 for labor law violations.
Hefty fines for violations
Six employers were fined $603,043 and given stop orders because they weren't providing workers' compensation insurance. An additional $42,300 in fines was given out to 14 businesses that violated garment registration rules, and investigators confiscated 85 bags of garments which were illegally manufactured. Those pieces of clothing will be donated to homeless and domestic violence shelters in the area.
The sweep operation went through 22 different work sites. Of the 18 manufacturers that were fined, they employed 296 workers total. The Commissioner's office will continue to pursue those employers and investigate their failures to pay appropriate wages under California labor codes.
Sweatshops "threaten workers' rights"
Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su commented that when sweatshops threaten workers' rights, undermines the legitimate garment businesses and makes it difficult to stay in operation. She added the Labor Commissioner's Office will do everything they can to hold those businesses who work with unregistered contractors accountable.
Even though state and federal laws are very clear, some companies and businesses still continue to try to violate their workers' rights. If you've been subjected to underpayment, overtime wage refusal, denial of benefits or breaks, now is a good time to learn your rights. Contact the Department of Industrial Relations and the Labor Commissioner's Office to report any violations you know about - you can do it easily online at their websites. You should also talk to your lawyer right away to determine if your employer has violated labor laws and if you can potentially obtain compensation.