Legal changes affecting clothing manufacturers in California

california_state_seal1Today must be the day for legal stuff! Okay, primarily via Apparel News come these highlights of interest to California based apparel manufacturers.

First is SB657, the Human Trafficking law (pdf) which states that effective January 1st, qualifying manufacturers and retailers are required to post specific details about their supply chains on their websites. I am unsure as to whether this applies to anyone reading this, there is a bit of confusion. The law broadly states that firms with 100 million in sales worldwide who have a “presence” in California are required to comply. Frankly, I doubt this applies to any of my visitors. Presumably anyone to whom this would apply had their in house counsel poring over the law well before now.

The confusion arises because an earlier article in Apparel News says the law also applies to firms with sales in California that exceed half a million dollars or 25% of one’s total sales -but this contradicts an article I read in Just-Style last August. Hmm. This is a bit too close for comfort. I doubt 25% of my sales are in CA but this expanded definition could be worrisome to many of you. Accordingly, I had my in house researcher (Mr. F-I, naturally, he’s off this week) look it over. He says he doesn’t see those definitions. Which ever the case may be, if you are required to be in compliance come January 1st but aren’t, you probably have a bit of a grace period to unpack what the law says. Obviously we should discuss it in comments to narrow it down.

By the way, if you’re not a California Apparel News subscriber, I suggest you read any links today because they don’t keep articles up for long.

Second item on CA’s legislative track of interest to you is the matter of requiring written commission agreements (Assembly bill 1396). This being a law in many states, I’m surprised it wasn’t required by law already. This means you’ll need to have a legal contract with any sales representatives you have. It’s a good idea to have one anyway.

Third item applies to San Francisco specifically; the minimum wage increases to $10.24 per hour.

Fourth item is SB 459 which applies to the hiring of independent contractors. The law provides for new penalties if you willfully misclassified independent contractors to avoid employee status. This could be troublesome but again, the language is pretty clear. Your malfeasance must be deliberate and knowing.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, you can read the same list I did. Other legal changes affect workers’ compensation, state contracts (the state can’t do business with you if you discriminate on the basis of gender or sexual orientation), SB 757 Non-Discrimination Insurance Act (must insure same sex domestic partners if you insure spouses), an increase in wage penalties (AB 551), Leave laws, E-Verify, Notice of Pay Details (AB 469), and lastly, Pregnancy Disability Leave which affects those with five or more employees.

And all this of course on top of the already onerous garment manufacturer’s law. California has lost a lot of jobs because of it and the recession hasn’t improved matters.

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One comment

  1. Rocio says:

    Well, call me insane but I actually welcome all the challenges being thrown at us garmentos in California because they’re only FORCING US to become ever more productive (making the most of what we have) and therefore making us stronger

    I spent most of my childhood in a country where at the age of 4 we HAD TO compete for a place in the public school system (kindergarten), so a challenge is something that I actually find disturbingly motivating and rewarding 8)

    While there are a lot of external factors that have contributed to the problems we now face, I would rather spend my time CREATING JOBS than moaning about all the things being thrown at us and the unfairness of it all….
    If you really want to experience a hostile business environment, try growing a business in one of the 20 poorest countries in the world…. So you see? IT COULD BE A LOT WORSE!!!!

    My comments are not directed at anyone in particular, but 3 years into the “economic downturn” so many people are still fixated on how it “used to be” and all they seem to have time to do is offer cheap talk in CONTAINER LOADS instead of DOING something about it.

    Anyway, I’ll leave you with my favourite quote:

    “People can be divided into three groups:
    1. Those who make things happen,
    2. Those who watch things happen,
    3. And those who wonder what’s happening”

    — Anonymous

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