The United States Department of Labor (DOL) has found that 94 percent of 129 investigated garment facilities were violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In the Southland garment industry located in Southern California, $1.6 million in back wages and liquidated damages were assessed by the DOL. The DOL also assessed an additional $36,000 in civil penalties associated with the investigations.
Since the start of 2017, FLSA violations resulted in payments due to 1,377 employees. The DOL discovered many employees were being paid well below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, with some receiving as little as $4.27 per hour. Investigators also found employers often failed to pay employees overtime at 1.5 times their regular rates of pay when they worked more than 40 hours in a week, as required by the FLSA.
To combat the illegal factories, DOL officials continue to meet with retailers to encourage them to buy only from suppliers that comply with federal labor laws and to avoid non-compliant manufacturers. Still, according to Ruben Rosalez, the Wage and Hour Division regional administrator for Southern California, the agency continues to find wage violations at nine out of every 10 facilities that are investigated.
Image link: https://pixabay.com/en/people-walking-shopping-stores-1209860/