A California garment factory has lost a case against the United States Department of Labor for violating minimum wage and overtime compensation rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Orange County garment factory has been ordered to pay close to $900,000 to 115 workers.
Laundry Room Clothing Inc. and its owners failed to pay their workers $380,824 in minimum wage and overtime earnings. A United States District Court judge ruled November 30 in favor of the U.S. Labor Department. The U.S. Labor Department had been investigating the garment company since April. The judge also awarded the workers liquidated damages in the amount of $506,730. The U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, commented on the case saying that the Department of Labor will hold employers accountable for paying their employees the wages they have earned. The Labor Secretary also said that low-wage workers who work in Southern California at garment shops are “especially vulnerable.”
The garment producer had made products for clothing stores Ross Stores Inc. and Forever 21. The Laundry Room Clothing is no longer in business because it was not able to repay a loan. The Labor Department had conducted a series of investigation on the company to review its business payrolls. Workers were paid appropriately since the April investigation started, but the company missed payrolls from February 2009 to March 2009 and ultimately failed to pay them.
Workers who are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act must at least be paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour during a 40 hour work week. If a worker works beyond 40 hours a week, the worker must be compensated at time and a half.
Source: ApparelNews.net, “Orange County Garment Factory Penalized for Unpaid Wages,” 12/15/10