Goods maker refuses to pay overtime for CA workers, feds say

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Rolling Stones fans watch them perform at the O2 Arena in east London, Sunday November 25, 2012. A California-based company that prints merchandising clothing for music giants such as the Rolling Stones, Britney Spears , Lady Gaga or Ariana Grande cheated 76 of her workers out of more than a hundred thousand dollars in overtime, according to Labor Department officials.

Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

A California company that prints merchandise apparel for music giants such as the Rolling Stones, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande has cheated its employees about overtime pay, labor department officials say.

And now he pays them back.

King Graphics, a merchandise maker in San Diego, denied its employees mandatory time and half overtime required for hours worked more than 40 hours a week, according to the US Department of Labor.

King Graphics did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News on May 10.

Investigators said employers are required to pay overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which also mandates minimum wages and other employment standards for workers.

“Celebs, retailers and manufacturers profit from T-shirts priced at $40 or more, while the low-wage workers who produce the merchandise work overtime to meet consumer demand and are victims of wage theft” , Jessica Looman, acting administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, said in a press release from the agency.

In September 2021, Department of Labor officials said they had asked King Graphics to stop shipping “hot goods” – products made by workers whose rights had been violated.

At the time, investigators said the company detained a shipment containing Britney Spears t-shirts destined for Target stores, among other products intended for sale at major retailers.

“All parties, from artists to (distributors) and wholesalers, should ensure their profits are not supported by sweatshop workers, many of whom are immigrant women supporting families,” Looman said in the statement. .

King Graphics paid $10,473 to lift the “hot goods” hold, officials say.

In April 2022, investigators said the company was ordered to pay $269,914 to the 76 affected workers for the $134,957 in denied overtime pay and its equivalent in “lump sum damages” in a settlement. a lawsuit brought by the employees.

King Graphics will also pay $10,473 in “civil penalties” and must hire a third party to ensure compliance with employment regulations, officials said.

King Graphics claims it has been a full service screen printing shop for over 20 years in San Diego.

“We have phenomenal relationships with our suppliers and get the best pricing period,” the website says. “We haven’t yet found a price that we can’t match or beat.”

The company listed Adidas, Quiksilver, Skechers and other big brands among its customers, and investigators said the company prints around 30,000 items a day.

This story was originally published May 10, 2022 10:04 a.m.

Cassandre Coyer is a McClatchy national real-time reporter covering the Southeast while based in Washington DC. She is an alumnus of Emerson College in Boston and joined McClatchy in 2022. Previously she has written for The Christian Science Monitor, RVA Mag, The Untitled Magazine and Suite.

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