- Sara Ehlers |
Los Angeles - Ross Stores’ manufacturer for the Los Angeles area recently was ordered to pay back a wage sum of 212,000 dollars for its employees. The Department of Labor ordered the apparel company to pay the wages due to a lack of paying workers fairly in the past.
YN Apparel, California-based supplier for Ross Stores, was ordered by the Department of Labor to pay back wages to 270 employed by its subcontractors. The hefty fine for YN Apparel was ordered by a U.S. District Court Judge in Los Angeles. According to WWD, “investigators found wide-scale violations of the minimum wage and overtime requirements” between the time frame of September 2011 to August 2015. These offenses took place at 13 contract sewing shops that were located in SoCal (Los Angeles and Garden Grove). The companies were reported paid less than the federal minimum wage at the time, which was 7.25 dollars per hour. Investigators, according to Apparel News, estimate that the subcontractors’ workers were making only between 5 and 6 dollars an hour.
David Weil, Department of Labor Wage and Hour Administrator, spoke on the issue at hand at a press conference. He stated that Ross and YN Apparel had worked together for years and that the supplier had a history of previous labor violations. He said that YN Apparel was being paid insufficiently and was therefore unable to pay basic minimum wages. “You start with contractors that are being paid a price too low and it works up the chain,” Weil said at the conference, as reported by Apparel News.
YN Apparel is ordered to pay 212,000 fine for minimum wage violations
However, Weil is advocating for preventing future wage violations in the U.S. He also stated that Ross would need to pay double the amount it currently pays for women’s tops in order to work with the factories it contracts with. “The kinds of problems that we find persisting in this industry all emanate from a supply chain that is broken and that ultimately leave the workers bearing all of the risk and all of the costs of this system,” Weil said in his press conference. As far as the financial and labor issues that have gone on with Ross and the fashion industry, Weil stated that the system currently is “simply not acceptable.”
Although the wage and labor issues will need time to improve, for the meantime, YN Apparel will have to fix its current situation. The court ordered for more than a 212,000 dollar fine to help prevent YN from continuing their problem of mispayment. The company was also ordered to make sure its subtractors maintain their valid garment restorations in California. In addition, the business must hire a new third-party monitor in order to check in with the company’s federal overtime, minimum wage and records to keep the company’s payroll in line.
Ross Stores, which currently has 1,276 standing locations, also made a statement on the issue. Although YN Apparel was charged with unfair wage payments, Ross stated that it took the crimes very seriously. “We [work] very closely with the Department of Labor to make sure our vendors understand and comply with all applicable federal, state, local, and international laws related to products we purchase and sell, and this is an ongoing and continuous effort,” a spokeswoman for the California-based company said in a statement.
Photo: Wikipedia Commons