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U.S. Department of Labor Secures Largest California Garment Worker Settlement, Recovering Over $1 Million

by Anna

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced its largest settlement to date for California garment workers, recovering over $1 million in back wages and damages for 165 workers. The investigation revealed that a Los Angeles garment contractor, including entities Good Cash LLC, Premium Quality Apparel LLC, and associated individuals, denied overtime wages illegally and attempted to conceal the wage theft.

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The sewing contractors, owned by Ramon Tecum, Marisela Romero (also known as Diana Tecum), and Joseph Delao, were found in violation of failing to pay overtime wages for hours over 40 in a workweek, with employees working an average of 52 hours per week. The contractors also falsified payroll records and issued fake checks to hide their illegal pay practices.

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Former California Deputy Labor Commissioner Conrado Gomez played a significant role in the businesses, as investigators discovered. When the Department of Labor executed a court-authorized investigative inspection warrant, the individuals attempted to interfere by pretending to be workers, shutting off power, and ordering employees to leave the worksite.

The garment contractors had conducted business with I Am Beyond LLC, operating as the Beyond Yoga apparel brand. The department enforced a hot goods hold on the apparel produced by the contractors’ employees for Beyond Yoga, preventing interstate shipment of goods produced in violation of labor regulations.

Beyond Yoga, upon learning of the violations, agreed to fulfill its contractors’ legal obligations and pay $582,317 in back wages and an equal amount in damages. Beyond Yoga entered into an enhanced compliance agreement with the division, ensuring full compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, establishing a monitoring program, and providing information for workers to confidentially report potential labor violations.

The Office of the Solicitor obtained a consent judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the Good Cash and Premium Apparel entities and its owners. The judgment requires them to pay $200,000 in civil money penalties for willful Fair Labor Standards Act violations. This settlement follows a 2021 citation against Good Cash for similar violations, recovering $29,413 in back wages for nine workers and assessing $3,921 in penalties in a separate investigation.

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