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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

WHD News Release: [09/04/2012]
Contact Name: Deanne Amaden or Jose A. Carnevali
Phone Number: (415) 625-2630 or x2631
Release Number: 12-1772-SAN

Final Touch Laundries to pay nearly $104,000 in back wages

Gardena, Calif., violated federal minimum wage, overtime law

GARDENA, Calif. — Final Touch Laundries Inc., a garment contractor in Gardena, has agreed to pay $103,904 in back wages to 64 employees after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division disclosed that the company had missed its payroll for several workweeks, violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime provisions.

Additionally, investigators found that Final Touch Laundries also had violated federal overtime requirements when, in prior workweeks, it failed to pay time and one-half employees' regular rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week as required by the FLSA. Instead, payment for overtime hours had been made at "straight-time" rates in cash. Additionally, violations of the FLSA's record-keeping provisions were cited due to the employer's failure to maintain required time and payroll records.

"All workers who put in an honest day's work are entitled to an honest day's pay," said Priscilla Garcia, director of the Wage and Hour Division's West Covina District Office, which conducted the investigation. "Low-wage workers, such as those employed at garment shops throughout Southern California, are particularly vulnerable. We will not tolerate employers defaulting on their obligations to pay employees."

The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also are required to maintain accurate time and payroll records. Additionally, the FLSA prohibits employers from shipping any goods produced in violation of the act's minimum wage, overtime or child labor provisions. The Wage and Hour Division is required under the FLSA to investigate and take action in federal court as necessary to halt violations.

Final Touch Laundries launders, dyes, prints and finishes fabrics used to create garments. The department has requested that the company not ship the goods produced in violation of the law until the violations are resolved. The employer has agreed to pay the back wages in full and to comply with all FLSA requirements in the future.

The Wage and Hour Division learned of the employer's practices through its participation in the Employment Education and Outreach partnership, known as EMPLEO. Now in its eighth year, EMPLEO is an alliance of organizations and government agencies that assists Spanish-speaking workers and employers with work-related concerns. EMPLEO's toll-free helpline, 877-55-AYUDA (552-9832), is staffed by trained volunteers from the Diocese of San Bernardino's Catholic Charities Center and the Los Angeles Mexican Consulate, who refer callers to EMPLEO partners for assistance.

The department offers a mobile timesheet application that helps employees independently track the hours they work and the wages they are owed. Available in English and Spanish, the app allows users to track their regular work hours, break times and any overtime hours they work. It is available as a free download at http://www.dol.gov/dol/apps/.

This investigation was conducted as part of the Wage and Hour Division's ongoing enforcement initiative in the garment industry. For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its West Covina office at 626-966-0478. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.