California Garment Workers End Wage Theft - Manneliasem
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California Garment Workers End Wage Theft

Los Angeles has one of the biggest garment industries in the United States. At a time where fast fashion is at its highest, many people have turned a check to the misconduct garment workers face. With much advocacy, a historic victory was finally won. Garment workers will finally get paid fair and full wages for their work.

What Is the Garment Worker Protection Act?

Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Garment Worker Protection Act into law in 2021 to improve working conditions and promote fair wages for garment workers. It took effect on January 1, this year, and all affected employees will see immediate changes. Not only would it promote the end to wage theft, but it also has strict criteria to hold manufacturers and contractors liable for withholding pay and engaging in discrimination.

The Act is an addition to Assembly Bill 633 – older worker protection established in 1999. It also helped garment workers reclaim lost wages from their employers. However, it had its limitations. This year, Californians have access to better recordkeeping requirements, including the recording of:

  • Copy of garment license, which should be registered with the Labor Commissioner
  • Daily hours worked by employees, including when someone clocks in and out
  • Wage and wage rates for each payroll period
  • The ages for minor employees
  • Production sheets and pay rates
  • Contracts, invoices, work orders

Los Angeles – 60% of Garment Workers

A high percentage of garment workers are women of Latino or Asian descent. In addition to wage theft in the fashion industry, they are subject to gender discrimination as well. While labor rights activists have sparked change, it might take time for a full shift.

An employment attorney or unpaid overtime lawyer is your biggest advocate if you’re facing legal disputes or not getting minimum wage for your work.

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