U.S. Department of Labor Recovered $1.5 Million in Back Wages and Damages for Southern California Garment Industry Employees This Year
LOS ANGELES, CA – The U.S. Department of Labor recovered more than $1.5 million in back wages and damages for 668 Southern California garment industry employees in investigations by its Wage and Hour Division (WHD) in Fiscal Year 2018.
WHD investigations found employers paid below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. WHD also determined that employers it investigated often failed to pay employees overtime at time-and-one-half of their regular rates of pay when they worked more than 40 hours in a week, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
As part of its efforts, WHD officials continue to educate employers and to meet with retailers to encourage them to buy only from suppliers that comply with federal labor laws, and to examine the role that garment pricing plays in a manufacturer's ability to pay workers legally required minimum wages.
"We still find high rates of noncompliance even after years of strong education and outreach efforts balanced with targeted enforcement in the garment industry," said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Ruben Rosalez, in San Francisco. "These employees are regularly denied minimum wage and overtime for the long, hard hours they put in on the job. All those in the industry need to recognize that if the price they pay for production done in the U.S. is too low, it can cause egregious minimum wage and overtime violations, unfairly undercutting their competition."
Notable results of the Division's FY2018 investigations in Los Angeles include:
- $49,974 to 32 employees after Valle Fashion failed to pay overtime to employees who, in many cases, earned less than the federal minimum wage. Valle also failed to maintain adequate time records.
- $61,765 to 18 employees who DAWA Fashion failed to pay at least the federal minimum wage and overtime. Investigators determined DAWA used computer software to falsify pay records.
- $32,623 to 11 employees after KIT failed to pay employees the federal minimum wage and overtime. Investigators also cited KIT for recordkeeping violations,
- $54,211 to 16 employees for the failure of Casa Q to pay employees the federal minimum wage and overtime. WHD also cited Casa Q for recordkeeping violations.
Employers that discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the Division.