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News Release

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.


Employment Standards Administration

ESA Press Release: U.S. Labor Department Releases Quarterly Garment Enforcement Report [07/31/1998]

For more information call: 202/219-7317 (ext. 118)

The U.S. Department of Labor recovered $655,653 in back wages on behalf of 1,518 garment workers from January 1 to March 31, 1998, for minimum wage and overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), according to the department's quarterly Garment Enforcement Report released today.

During the first three months of this year, the department's Wage and Hour division conducted 201 investigations, found violations in 99 of those cases, and assessed $108,265 in civil penalties for repeat and willful violations.

The largest case in the report involved FLSA violations by P.T. Apparel Products, Inc., of Brooklyn, NY, which made garments for RLWW, Inc. of New York, under the label Ralph Lauren Womenswear. Following intervention by the department's Wage and Hour division, RLWW ensured that P.T. Apparel paid $109,995 in back wages to 121 employees. The second largest case involved Duo Sportswear of Santa Ana, California, a manufacturer cited because of the company's own violations. More than $30,000 in back wages were recovered for Duo Sportswear employees.

"This Labor Department is committed to eradicating garment industry sweatshops and bringing the entire industry into compliance with the law," said U.S. Labor Secretary Alexis M. Herman. "Our quarterly enforcement report is an important tool for manufacturers who want to do the right thing, since they clearly show which contractors consistently violate the law. This is a critical step toward our goal of bringing long lasting and positive change for workers in this industry."

The report lists 54 contractors and 112 manufacturers. While New York was the region with the most investigations (75) this quarter, New York and California had the same number of investigations with violations (39). The most back wages ($365,284) were recovered in California for 886 employees. California also took the lead in civil penalties assessed at $39,015.

The department began issuing quarterly reports in May 1996 to provide retailers and consumers with information about garment contractors that violate the law and the manufacturers doing business with them. Previous reports can be accessed on the U.S. Department of Labor's web page at

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employment Standards Administration
July 31, 1998
Contact: David Roberts
Phone Number