The California Labor Commissioner’s Office recently charged 14 garment manufacturers and contractors in Los Angeles with a series of labor violations. Seven of the accused manufacturers were cited with working without workers compensation insurance coverage. The penalties totaled $372,135. Altogether the businesses employ 170 workers in the Los Angeles garment district. The violations were found after an inspection conducted last month. Unfortunately, far too many employees in Los Angeles are either denied workers compensation or work for employers that have no workers compensation insurance.
The recent investigation of the local garment industry also uncovered several other types of unlawful labor practices. Fourteen garment businesses were fined $34,000 for numerous violations, including failure to register as a garment manufacturer, maintain required records and fail to display the garment registration. Investigators confiscated more than 5,000 illegally manufactured garments worth more than $103,000.
The consequences are severe for both employers and their workers. When the rights of workers are violated, it ruins the reputation of other manufacturers who are trying to operate a legitimate business. In addition, the California Labor Commission is also pursuing action against manufacturers who fail to provide proper wages. All manufacturers are required to comply with the Garment Manufacturing Act of 1980. This legislation requires the following:
One of the growing trends in the Los Angeles garment industry is the skyrocketing use of undocumented immigrants in the workforce. Nearly 85 percent of Los Angeles clothing factories had violations, including wages well below minimum wage and failure to pay overtime. Consider these sobering statistics. The State of California has a gross domestic product of $2.448 trillion, making it the 6th largest economy in the world. However, it is also home to the largest population of undocumented immigrants. Nearly $180 million is produced by undocumented laborers–nearly 10 percent of the state’s labor force. Many companies take advantage of these workers by providing inadequate pay and benefits. Because many of these jobs require manual labor, workers compensation is a must.
Although many of these workers contribute greatly to the economy, there is a huge downside. By paying undocumented immigrants terrible wages, it also drives down the wages for unskilled workers.
Countless workers are injured on the job. Just one major or catastrophic injury can be devastating to your future. Many people depend on workers compensation benefits to support themselves and their families.
The workers compensation attorneys in Los Angeles at the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach are ready to help. With more than 40 years of experience in California employment law, William J. Kropach utilizes an aggressive and comprehensive approach to help place each client in the best position to succeed. To learn more, contact us today and schedule a consultation to discuss your case.