DOL Survey Finds “Egregious” Violations in Garment Industry

Average sewing fees were $2.75 below wage standards in Southern California.

Results from a Department of Labor (DOL) survey released at the end of March show that 80% of garment manufacturers in Southern California violated the Fair Labor Standards Act in one way or more. The survey was conducted in 2022, and interviewed workers employed at over 50 manufacturers in the region. They found that the average sewing fee was $2.75 below the amount needed to meet the federal minimum wage. In the most extreme case, a contractor paid their garment workers as little as $1.58 per hour. The garments made by these workers are made for and sold by national retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Von Maur.

“Many people shopping for clothes in stores and online are likely unaware that the ‘Made in the USA’ merchandise they’re buying was, in fact, made by people earning far less than the U.S. law requires,” said San Francisco’s Wage and Hour Regional Administrator Ruben Rosalez. “Despite our efforts to hold Southern California’s garment industry employers accountable, we continue to see people who make clothes sold by some of the nation’s leading retailers working in sweatshops.”  

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the Department of Labor as they work daily to hold businesses accountable to American labor laws.
  • That Regional Administrator Rosalez receives the support required to address these pervasive labor violations.
  • For the Lord to quench the consumerism that feeds these alarming business practices.

Sources: Department of Labor


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