The Department of Labor’s wage and hour division said Wednesday that it has gotten a consent judgment against a primary clothing supplier for Ross Stores.
The judgment requires YN Apparel in Vernon, the supplier, to pay $212,000 in back wages to employees for minimum wage and overtime violations, as well as hire a third-party monitor to ensure all of its domestic garment contractors comply with the overtime, minimum wage and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Evidence supporting the division’s findings included an analysis conducted by investigators which showed that prices contractors received from YN would need to be up to three times what they were actually paid in order to pay their workers legally-required wages. In the case of Ross, which operates Ross Dress for Less stores, YN would have needed to receive double the price to sufficiently to pay their workers.
The consent judgment requires YN to conduct this same analysis for every domestic contractor it uses in the future beyond Ross Stores. If the price is not high enough to support legally required wages for workers, YN must renegotiate the contract.
“We are using all means necessary to bring justice for L.A.’s garment workers, whether that means enforcement, outreach and education, or going up the supply chain to engage the retailers selling these clothes,” said David Weil, administrator of the wage and hour division of the Department of Labor. “We should not continue to see 19th century sweatshop conditions in 21st century Los Angeles.”
The judgment against YN Apparel continues a multi-year enforcement crackdown against garment manufacturers in Southern California that has been ongoing since November 2014.
Department of Labor investigators, meanwhile, continue to investigate minimum wage violations nearly a year and a half after the crackdown began. In the last five years, wage and overtime division officials in Southern California have concluded over 1,000 investigations in the garment industry, resulting in more than $11.7 million in back wages.
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