Los Angeles Business Journal

Textile Industry Contractor To Pay $104,000 in Back Wages

By Bethany Firnhaber Originally published September 4, 2012 at 2:30 p.m., updated September 4, 2012 at 1:26 p.m.

A Gardena garment contractor has agreed to compensate its employees for back wages after the company failed to pay overtime and gave its employees cash under the table, the federal Department of Labor announced Tuesday.

Final Touch Laundries Inc. will pay $103,904 in back wages to 64 employees after missing payroll for several weeks.

An investigation found that instead of paying time-and-a-half for hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour week, the company paid employees only “straight-time” rates in cash. The company also violated the Fair Labor Standards Act when it failed to maintain payroll records.

Priscilla Garcia, director of the department’s Wage and Hour Division in West Covina, said such wage violations are a common problem in industries where low-wage workers dominate the work force.

“Low-wage workers, such as those employed at garment shops throughout Southern California, are particularly vulnerable,” she said in a statement. “We will not tolerate employers defaulting on their obligations to pay employees.”

Final Touch Laundries, which washes, dyes, prints and finishes fabrics used in apparel manufacturing, has agreed not to ship any products produced in violation of the law until the back wages are paid and the violations rectified.

The company could not immediately be reached for comment.