New FAQ Clarifies California Garment Worker Protection Law
The California Commissioner of Labor – who is responsible for enforcing US Senate Bill 62, known as Garment Workers Protection Act, posted an online Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to help clarify the new rules.
The new law expands the definition of the apparel manufacturing industry for the purpose of wage claim enforcement to include brand guarantors – thereby holding brands accountable, even for violations with third-party partners. The law also requires garment manufacturers to pay workers an hourly wage.
The law was introduced into California law in September 2021 by US Governor Gavin Newsom, who said at the time:
“California holds businesses accountable and recognizes the dignity and humanity of our workers, who have helped build the fifth largest economy in the world. These measures protect marginalized low-wage workers, many of whom are women of color and immigrants, ensuring they receive what is due to them and improving working conditions. We are committed to supporting them as we work to build a stronger and more inclusive economy. »
The law includes some of the following requirements:
- Make garment manufacturers responsible for guaranteeing the payment of wages to the employees of their subcontractors
- Expand the definition of garment manufacturing to include dyeing, altering the design of a garment and affixing a label to a garment
- The bill prohibits any employee engaged in the performance of garment manufacturing from being paid by the piece or unit, or at the piece rate, unless otherwise specified.
When passed, the law was backed by more than 50 design professors and department heads from the world’s top fashion schools and aimed to reform wages for garment workers.
Some of the Top California Garment Worker Protection Law FAQs
Who is a contractor under the Garment Worker Protection Act?
“A subcontractor is usually the garment factory that employs garment workers. It can be any person, including business entities, who primarily engages in garment manufacturing operations with the assistance of employees or other persons. »
Who is a garment manufacturer under the Garment Worker Protection Act?
“A garment manufacturer usually contracts with the contractor to have garments made. This term includes anyone engaged in the manufacture of garments who is not a contractor.
To be engaged in the manufacture of garments means to carry out garment manufacturing operations for sale or resale or to contract with a contractor to have such operations carried out.
What are garment manufacturing operations?
“Clothing manufacturing operations means the preparation of any garment or any article of clothing or accessory designed or intended to be worn by any individual for another person, such as: sewing, cutting, making, processing , repairing, finishing, assembling, dyeing, modifying the design of a garment, causing another person to modify the design of a garment or affixing a label to a garment. Apparel includes, but is not limited to, clothes, hats, gloves, handbags, stockings, ties, scarves, or belts. »