The apparel manufacturing industry is heavily regulated in California. Two things that garment manufacturers should be aware of are registration requirements and the Garment Worker Protection Act.
Every person who engages in the business of manufacturing clothing must register with the California labor commissioner. This registration requirement includes rental companies and temporary agencies that provide employees who work in sewing, cutting, manufacturing, processing, repairing, finishing, assembling, or otherwise ready-made garments or articles of clothing.
Registration certificates showing the name, address, and registration number of the garment manufacturer in letters not less than three inches high must be displayed at the front entrance of the business premises. If the front entrance is inside the building, then the certificates must be displayed at or near the main entrance outside the building.
Instructions for registration are available on the labor commissioner’s website.
Garment Work Protection Act
The 2022 Garment Worker Protection Act deals with the wages of employees in the garment industry, as well as the responsibility of contracting parties to garment manufacturers.
The Act stipulates that garment workers must be paid an hourly rate of not less than the minimum wage and not a piece rate.
The law requires that, in addition to general record keeping obligations, employers, contractors, and manufacturers must keep for four years:
- The names and addresses of all garment workers directly employed.
- The daily working hours of the employees.
- Daily production sheets.
- The wages and salaries paid each payroll period.
- Contract worksheets showing the price per unit agreed between the contractor and manufacturer.
- All contracts, invoices, purchase orders, jobs or job orders, and style or cut sheets. This documentation must include:
- The business names, addresses, and contact information of the contracting parties.
- A copy of the garment license for each person involved in the manufacture of the garment who is a party to the contract.
- The age of minor employees.
- Any other conditions of employment.
The labor commissioner publishes a page of Frequently Asked Questions on the Law.