California 1st to Require Hourly Wages in the Garment Industry

California 1st to Require Hourly Wages in the Garment Industry

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed a bill that he dubbed a “nation-leading” measure requiring garment businesses to compensate employees by the hour instead of for each item they create.

Supporters said that piece-rate compensation could be used to pay employees less than the federal minimum wage.

CA is now the 1st state in the United States to ban piece work pay, although there is an exemption for worksites covered by collective bargaining agreements and the first to impose liability on manufacturers that subcontract with garment makers.

“Bad-actor manufacturers have made use of garment workers toiling in unsanitary conditions for as little as $5 an hour for far too long,” said Democratic Sen. María Elena Durazo. “This bill will level the playing field for ethical manufacturers that are doing the right thing.”

Employees who are paid less than the legal minimum wage can still receive bonus incentives.
Garment workers in California, according to Marissa Nuncio, the director of the Garment Worker Center, are frequently immigrant women. She said that under the legislation, California would no longer be known as America’s sweatshop capital.

The California Chamber of Commerce declares that the bill “poses high costs on employers in the apparel industry,” especially those who do not directly manage the employees but will be held liable for their mistreatment. It predicted that the law would force some firms out of business or relocate outside of California.

The bill’s supporters, including the charity Legal Aid at Work, believe that the broad liability under the legislation is necessary to “prevent bad-actor brands from circumventing regulation and enforcement by layering contracts.” The bill was one of 18 labor-related bills that Newsom, a Democrat, signed.

He also signed a second bill authored by Durazo requiring that all persons with disabilities be paid at least the federal minimum wage.
California has become the 13th state to outlaw subminimum pay for individuals with developmental disabilities, according to the State Council on Developmental Disabilities.

According to the report, 12,000 Californians with disabilities who work in so-called sheltered workshops may be paid as little bit as 15 cents an hour under a federal rule that dates back to 1938.

The advocates for the bill, on the other hand, said that while sheltered workshops have fallen out of fashion in most places, they are only used by those who have consented to work there or whose families consent that these are the finest option.

The state found that the law “effectively eliminates the possibility of employment for many individuals,” therefore limiting people’s choices in front of them. The law phases out the subminimum payments over three years and makes it unlawful to pay an employee with a PHY or mental disability less than the legal minimum wage by January 1, 2025.

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