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L.A. Garment Factory to Pay $51K to Workers Over Wage Violations

Los Angeles garment contractor SMT Apparel Inc. will pay a combined $51,840 to 40 employees after a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) investigation found that the company failed to pay a minimum wage and overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Investigators with DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) discovered that SMT Apparel paid employees at a piece rate without regard for the number of hours they worked. DOL said this practice resulted in minimum wage violations for 11 employees when their piece rates failed to cover all of their hours at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and overtime violations for 29 employees when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek, but were not paid overtime.

“This case demonstrates our commitment to ensuring workers are properly paid and to leveling the playing field for law-abiding employers,” Richard Longo, acting WHD deputy regional administrator in San Francisco, said. “The Wage and Hour Division is available and eager to provide assistance to employers to help them understand the law and avoid violations.”

Susan Selestsky, from DOL’s Regional Solicitor’s Office in Los Angeles, added, “This case also shows that the Department is serious about wage violations and enforcement of the law.”

Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations can self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program. The PAID program facilitates resolution of potential overtime and minimum wage violations. The program’s primary objectives are to resolve such claims expeditiously and without litigation, to improve employers’ compliance with overtime and minimum wage obligations, and to ensure that more employees receive back wages they are owed in an expeditious manner.