In December of 2017, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) revealed that it had assessed $1.6 million in back wages and liquidated damages against Southland garment since the beginning of the year.
According to the DOL, violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) were found in 94 percent of 129 Wage and Hour Division investigations of the Southland garment factories. As a result of the investigations, the DOL found wages owed to 1,377 employees.
The DOL’s investigations uncovered that many employees were paid well below the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, with some receiving as low as $4.27 per hour. Additionally, workers were often not paid in compliance with the FLSA’s overtime requirements, which requires that all non-exempt employees be paid at one and one half times their regular hourly rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a single work week. These violations also carry other civil penalties, which the DOL has enforced against Southland.
Ruben Rosalez of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division commented that “[i]n addition to our outreach efforts in this industry, we continue our investigations in Southern California to ensure local garment employees receive their rightfully earned pay. Unfortunately, we continue to find wage violations in nine out of every ten facilities we investigate.”
Rosalez also noted that manufacturers who fail to pay employees in compliance with the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime provisions have a negative impact on the industry by unfairly undercutting the competition.
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