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3 Sep 2020

Michelle Russell, Just-Style

USA: California Garment Worker Protection Bill fails to come to voting stage before end of legislative session

“Garment worker pay bill dies in California legislative session”, 03 September 2020

A California apparel industry wage-reform bill failed to come up for a vote in this year's legislative session, throwing doubt over whether it will ever be introduced.

The bill eliminates the piece rate in the garment industry … and enforces liability to ensure retailers cannot use layers of contracting to avoid the law.

It was approved by the Assembly Labour and Employment Committee at the end of July, who approved at 5-1 before it moved to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration this month.

Worker rights group The Garment Worker Center said it will fight to bring the bill back next year.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Durazo has not yet decided whether to introduce the bill again next year or try to achieve its aims administratively, a spokesperson for the senator told the publication.

In a statement she said: "I'm disheartened that SB1399 did not prevail ... As we regroup to plan for the upcoming legislative session, our commitment to garment workers will continue to be a priority, because every day wage theft continues to cheat workers out of their pay and while workers continue to be paid by the piece, they continue to earn on average five dollars an hour."