Stitching Up Garment Manufacturing Abuses in California

sewingWard.jpg

STITCHING UP GARMENT MANUFACTURING ABUSES IN CALIFORNIA
By Ward Heinrichs Esq., San Diego Employment Attorney 

 

 

ON BIG BLEND RADIO: San Diego employment attorney Ward Heinrichs discuses California’s new Garment Workers Protection Act. Watch here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean or SoundCloud.

Many workers’ rights organizations have warned of the abuses in the garment manufacturing industry, both worldwide and in the U.S. Clothing Brands generally contract with manufacturers, or middlemen, to produce the clothing designs that the Brands have created. The manufacturers will put the Brand label on the clothes.

Unfortunately, the people actually making the clothes often work in sweatshops or from home, and they are often paid far below minimum wage.

Garment workers in the United States usually work for piece rate. That means they get paid per garment produced. Piece rate is not illegal in California, but garment manufacturers in California are known to pay less than minimum wage through the use of piece rate. General California labor law requires employers who pay piece-rate to pay at least minimum wage and legal overtime. However, garment manufactures and the factories that they use often ignore California minimum wage and overtime requirements. (Seehttps://garmentworkercenter.org/get-informed). The factories can avoid detection by informally popping up without regard to licensing laws. If challenged by authorities, they often simply close shop and re-open somewhere else. (Ibid.)

To combat those abuses, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Garment Workers Protection Act. It will go into effect on January 1, 2022. It outlaws piece-rate pay for Garment workers and creates liability for Brands, manufactures, factories, and contractor middlemen. In other words, if a factory underpays its employees or pays piece-rate, the Brand who contracted with a middleman, who contracted with a manufacturer, who, in turn, contracted with a factory, is liable. In fact, every party in the long chain of contractors will be liable.

Unfortunately, only about 45,000 employees work in the Los Angeles garment industry. (Ibid.)

Throughout the world, the garment industry employs about 40 million workers. (See, https://truecostmovie.com/learn-more/human-rights/). Many of them work in countries that have very little protections, and where they get paid even less than the workers in the U.S. (See, https://www.businessoffashion.com/news/global-markets/garment-workers-remain-unpaid-even-as-fashion-giants-return-to-profit). The new California protections may only serve to drive the relatively little manufacturing here to other parts of the world. 

Based in San Diego, California the Employment Law Office of Ward Heinrichs represents both employers and employees in almost all areas of labor law. He and his firm litigate cases that have been filed in many different parts of California. Visit www.BestEmploymentAttorneySanDiego.com  

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Author:

Based in San Diego, California the Employment Law Office of Ward Heinrichs represents both employers and employees in almost all areas of labor law. He and his firm litigate cases that have been filed in many different parts of California.

Website Link Visit Link Here
Category ,
No Feedback Received