Home California Governor Newsom Signs Legislation Creating Nation-Leading Worker Protections for Garment Industry

Governor Newsom Signs Legislation Creating Nation-Leading Worker Protections for Garment Industry

by ECT

SB 62 creates new, nation-leading policies that will end exploitative piece-rate compensation for garment industry workers

SB 639 prohibits paying workers with disabilities less than the state’s minimum wage

SB 321 directs Cal/OSHA to create advisory committee to recommend policies to protect domestic workers, provide health and safety guidance

SACRAMENTO – Taking historic and decisive action to help keep workers safe on the job and combat unfair pay practices, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a package of 18 worker protection bills, including nation-leading legislation that will end decades-old, unfair pay practices and require garment manufacturers to pay workers an hourly wage.

SB 62 by Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) ends the industry’s practice of piece-rate compensation, which has been exploited to pay workers below-minimum wages. The legislation also expands fashion brands’ liability for unpaid wages, including wage theft by contractors.

“California is holding corporations accountable and recognizing the dignity and humanity of our workers, who have helped build the fifth-largest economy in the world,” said Governor Newsom. “These measures protect marginalized low-wage workers, many of whom are women of color and immigrants, ensuring they are paid what they are due and improving workplace conditions. We are committed to having their backs as we work to build a stronger, more inclusive economy.”

“Today we won justice for garment workers,” said Senator Durazo. “For too long, bad-actor manufacturers have exploited garment workers toiling in unsanitary conditions for as little as $5 an hour. I applaud Governor Newsom for signing this important legislation to safeguard legal wages and dignified working conditions for this highly-skilled workforce and level the playing field for ethical manufacturers that are doing the right thing.”

Today’s action follows the Governor’s signing of AB 701 into law last week, legislation by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) establishing new, nation-leading transparency measures for warehousing companies to disclose production quota descriptions to their workers and prohibiting the use of algorithms that disrupt rest periods, bathroom breaks or compliance with health and safety laws.

Governor Newsom today also signed SB 321 by Senator Durazo, under which Cal/OSHA will create an advisory committee to recommend state policies to protect domestic workers and to provide health and safety guidance to educate employers and employees in the industry. SB 639 by Senator Durazo prohibits employers from paying workers with disabilities less than the California minimum wage by phasing out certificate programs that permit subminimum wages for these employees.

Holding employers accountable, AB 1003 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) makes the intentional theft of wages, benefits or compensation in an amount greater than $950 for one employee or more than $2,350 for two or more employees in a consecutive 12-month period punishable as grand theft, which prosecutors could charge as a misdemeanor or felony.

Governor Newsom also signed AB 73 by Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister), legislation helping to protect farmworkers from wildfire smoke by including agricultural workers in the definition of essential workers that can access the state’s personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpile and specifying that wildfire smoke events are among the health emergencies that require the state to mobilize distribution of PPE. It also requires employers to provide in-language wildfire smoke training.

A full list of the bills signed by the Governor is below:

  • AB 73 by Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) – Health emergencies: employment safety: agricultural workers: wildfire smoke.
  • AB 628 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) –  Breaking Barriers to Employment Initiative.
  • AB 643 by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) – Apprenticeship programs: career fairs.
  • AB 1003 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) – Wage theft: grand theft.
  • AB 1023 by Assemblymember Heath Flora (R-Ripon) – Contractors and subcontractors: records: penalties.
  • AB 1033 by Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) – California Family Rights Act: parent-in-law: small employer family leave mediation: pilot program.
  • AB 1506 by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) – Worker status: employees and independent contractors: newspaper distributors and carriers.
  • SB 62 by Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) – Employment: garment manufacturing.
  • SB 270 by Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) – Public employment: labor relations: employee information.
  • SB 278 by Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) – Public Employees’ Retirement System: disallowed compensation: benefit adjustments.
  • SB 321 by Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) –  Employment safety standards: advisory committee: household domestic services.
  • SB 338 by Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) – Joint and several liability of port drayage motor carrier customers: health and safety violations: prior offenders: liability owed to the state.
  • SB 362 by Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) – Chain community pharmacies: quotas.
  • SB 572 by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) – Labor Commissioner: enforcement: lien on real property.
  • SB 606 by Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) – Workplace safety: violations of statutes: enterprise-wide violations: egregious violations.
  • SB 639 by Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) – Minimum wages: persons with disabilities.
  • SB 646 by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) – Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004: janitorial employees.
  • SB 727 by Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) – Labor-related liabilities: direct contractor.

For full text of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov

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1 comment

PANDORA Oct 4, 2021 - 12:32 am

What “Garment” industry? 99%+ of the stuff is made in China as crapilly as they can make it.

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