Governor Newsom Signs SB 62, Senator Durazo’s Bill to Eliminate Piece Rate in Garment Industry and Hold Brands Accountable

Monday, September 27, 2021

In response to Governor Newsom signing SB 62, the Garment Worker Protection Act, Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), who authored the bill, issued the following statement: 

“Today we won justice for garment workers," said Senator Durazo. "For too long, bad-actor manufacturers have exploited garment workers toiling in unsanitary conditions for as little as $5 an hour. I applaud Governor Newsom for signing this important legislation to safeguard legal wages and dignified working conditions for this highly-skilled workforce and level the playing field for ethical manufacturers that are doing the right thing. Ethical fashion is the future!”

“We are thrilled that, after two years of workers fighting for this bill, Governor Newsom has signed the Garment Worker Protection Act, thanks in large part to Senator Durazo’s leadership,” said Marissa Nuncio, Director of the Garment Worker Center. “The 45,000+ garment workers in our state, a majority of them are immigrant women and have families, will finally be able to earn the minimum wage rather than per piece. We cannot overstate the way this bill is going to change people’s lives. California is home to some of the strongest worker protections in the nation - it is fitting that thanks to SB62, we will no longer be the sweatshop capital of America. We’ll be a model for a sustainable, ethical fashion industry built on respect and decency for the garment workers who sew our clothes and PPE.”

"This victory was possible thanks to the bravery of countless low-wage, immigrant women who spoke up against powerful fashion brands to demand at least minimum wage for their labor," said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), principal co-author and floor jockey for SB 62. "Now after so long, garment workers will finally get the justice they deserve."

SB 62 will strengthen protections for garment workers by eliminating the piece rate in the garment industry to ensure garment workers are paid legal wages for all time spent working while still allowing for incentive-based bonuses above their legal wage and by expanding liability for wage violations. It strengthens safeguards for wages and dignified working conditions for garment professionals. The new law will provide a level playing field for garment businesses in our state and fair conditions for the ethical business industry to thrive.

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