The California Labor Commissioners Office has fined $682,000 to 18 garment companies in Los Angeles for violated labor laws. This is not the first go-round for Los Angeles-based businesses – along with garment workers, other locally exploited professions include those who work in or at car washes, restaurants, construction sites and landscaping.
The garment companies were cited for not having workers’ comp insurance, not providing itemized time sheets that accurately show hours on the job and/or they didn’t properly register with the state as an entity that is doing business.
“These illegal entities should take note: We will shine a light on the underground economy, and those who contract with unregistered contractors will also be held accountable,” said Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su in an emailed statement about the sweep in a recent article in the Los Angeles Times. Su’s office seized 85 bags of clothes worth almost $160,000 from nine of the businesses. The clothes will be given to homeless and domestic violence shelters.
Los Angeles has been a hotbed for illegal garment companies because workers often settle for unfair work conditions. It’s a sad reality that these unscrupulous companies know that workers often will not fight for their rights, the fear of losing their job being greater than the need for justice. This is often paired with insurance companies whose policies seemed designed to intimidate and confuse instead of providing solace and desperately needed cash if they are injured on the job.
An individual who faces this alone won’t have much chance in getting what is due to them. But there are many things an attorney experienced in the field workers compensation can do to help.
Services often include:
- Submitting claims in a timely fashion so workers can receive benefits as soon as possible.
- Making sure injured workers get the full amount of money that is due to them, whether it is for smaller issues like broken bones as well as larger ones like permanent impairment or wrongful death.
- Make sure your medical treatment is the best possible.
- Appeal a denied claim made by the insurance company.
While worker rights are a crucial part of our society, it’s estimated by the Department of Labor that businesses in the L.A. area have denied workers 11.7 million in wages owed over the last five years. If you or a loved one has been taken advantage of by an employer, there is a place to turn. An attorney experienced in workers’ compensation can help insure that money is forthcoming for your particular situation.