The Cost of Doing Business in California for Garment Industry Employer

By: Kyle D. Kring

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement ("DLSE") implements certain requirements for garment industry employers before they may begin operating in California. These strict requirements were put into action with the passage of the Garment Manufacturing Act in 1980, which was in response to the California's Legislature's efforts to protect the wages and health and safety standards throughout the garment industry. Recently, on March 11, 2016, the Department of Industrial Relations published a "Summary of Some Basic California and Federal Employment Requirements for Garment Industry Employers," which summarizes what garment industry employers need to do in order to operate in California.

One of the most onerous and often overlooked requirements is the registration requirement, which states that every business engaging in garment manufacturing must register with the DLSE before doing business in California. The DLSE also imposes a duty on all garment industry employers to ensure that those businesses in which it contracts with are also registered with the DLSE. If a garment industry employer contracts with another garment industry employer who is not registered, the employer - even if registered with the DLSE - will be jointly liable for the labor law violations of the unregistered employer for unpaid wages and penalties, which can be substantial.

For a complete list of the requirements, click here. If you are a garment industry employer that needs assistance complying with these requirements and California law, please contact us immediately.