Several Los Angeles Garment Manufacturers Fined for State Violations

A two-day raid of Los Angeles–area garment factories resulted in the California Labor Commissioner fining 18 manufacturers and contractors $682,344 for having no workers’ compensation insurance and for garment registration violations.

The Labor Commissioner’s office is pursuing wage theft investigations on those employers who also failed to pay proper wages under the California Labor Code.

The penalties announced on Sept. 22 included a total of $603,043 in fines and stop orders for six employers with no workers’ compensation insurance and $42,300 in penalties issued to 14 businesses for garment registration violations. Investigators at nine of the businesses confiscated 85 bags of illegally manufactured garments with an estimated street value of $155,457.

“Sweatshop operators threaten garment workers’ rights and undermine honest employers in the industry, making it difficult for legitimate garment businesses to stay in operation,” said state Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su.

The two-day enforcement sweep began on Sept. 7 and included 22 worksite inspections. The 18 garment businesses cited employ 296 workers.

The Garment Manufacturing Act of 1980 requires that all industry employers register with the Labor Commissioner and demonstrate adequate character, competency and responsibility.

Garment manufacturers who contract with unregistered entities are automatically deemed joint employers of the workers in the contract facility. Clothing confiscated from illegal operations cannot be sold and is donated to a nonprofit agency that gives them to homeless and domestic violence shelters in the Los Angeles area.

Most of the factories involved in the inspections employed fewer than 20 people. The five largest garment factories cited were DU Fashion, Tippy Inc., ADE Apparel Inc., Coco Love Inc. and 5 Thread Factory Inc.