Introduced in February this year by Californian Senate, the SB1399 bill will be presented on the Assembly floor next week. The bill aims to eliminate the piece rate system and ensure multilateral accountability to prevent wage theft through layers of subcontracting. Known as the Garment Worker Protection Act, this bill explicitly authorizes the Labor Commissioner’s Bureau of Field Enforcement to conduct workplace-wide investigations and issue citations on behalf of all the workers.
The bill benefits the workers and companies follow the rules, said Matthew DeCarolis, Co-sponsor and Staff Attorney, Bet Tzedek Legal Services. It builds upon Assembly Bill 633, which was written in 1999. AB 633 created a Garment Restitution Fund that supported workers who had their wages stolen.
Passing SB 1399 would be a major victory for garment workers and they believe that these problems can be solved is if workers’ experience, stories and knowledge are heard.