DOL Reaches Largest Settlement Ever for California Garment Workers

During an inspection, owners posed as workers, cut power and ordered employees to leave.


The U.S. Department of Labor announced an investigation recovered more than $1 million in back wages and damages, its largest settlement to date for California garment workers, for 165 workers after finding a Los Angeles garment contractor denied them overtime wages illegally and then tried to conceal the wage theft. 

The investigations found four Los Angeles sewing contractors in violation: Good Cash LLC and its associated entities, Good Cash Inc., Premium Quality Apparel LLC and Premium Quality Apparel Inc. Good Cash and Premium Quality Apparel are owned by Ramon Tecum; Marisela Romero, also known as Diana Tecum; and Joseph Delao.

Investigators also determined former California Deputy Labor Commissioner Conrado Gomez played a significant role in the businesses. 

Investigators from the department’s Wage and Hour Division discovered the contractors willfully failed to pay overtime wages for hours over 40 in a workweek to employees who worked an average of 52 hours per week. The division also learned the contractors falsified payroll records and issued fake checks to mask their illegal pay practices.

When the department executed a court-authorized investigative inspection warrant, Tecum, Romero and Gomez attempted to interfere by pretending to be workers, shutting off the power to the facility and ordering employees to leave the worksite. 

During the investigation, the department enforced a hot goods hold on the apparel produced by the contractors’ employees for I Am Beyond LLC, doing business as the Beyond Yoga apparel brand. Federal law prevents interstate shipment of “hot goods” produced in violation of minimum wage, overtime, or child labor regulations and applies to the employer and anyone in possession of the goods.

When informed of its contractors’ violations, Beyond Yoga agreed to make good on its contractors’ legal obligations and pay $582,317 in back wages and an equal amount in damages. To improve compliance in their product supply chain, Beyond Yoga entered into an enhanced compliance agreement with the division, which includes updating its code of conduct for garment contractors.

The agreement requires full compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, establishes a monitoring program and directs all contractors to display information for workers on how to file complaints of potential labor violations confidentially, including through Beyond Yoga’s worker hotline.

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 Good Cash and Premium Quality Apparel to pay $200,000 in civil money penalties for its willful Fair Labor Standards Act violations.

In 2021, the division cited Good Cash for similar violations and recovered $29,413 in back wages for nine workers and assessed $3,921 in penalties in a separate investigation.

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