Manufacturing Apparel in California, or Not

A reader asks: Should California be allowed to get away with this?

Screen Printing received a letter to the editor this week that really aroused some interest. If you have similar or related experiences, please let us know about them.

My name is Paul Heully and I co-own Lightning Ridge Screen Printing Inc. in Ventura, CA. Recently I found out that the State of California, through the Department of Labor, has classified all T-shirt printers and embroiderers as Garment Manufacturers.

They started in Northern, CA, about three years ago sending agents to all the shops under the pretext of looking for labor posters and Workers’ Comp Insurance, but what they were really after was a Garment Manufacturers’ License. They fine you $100 per employee on the spot and try to force you to get a Garment Manufacturers’ License. The cost is $25 for a test, but if you really look into it once you pass the Garment Manufacturers’ License test, it is $750 to register with the State and $2,500 a year in fees.

I have been in business for 23 years and have never once manufactured anything.

I feel that this is a matter that your magazine should be interested in as it affects our industry, not just in California, but throughout the country. Should California be allowed to get away with this? It will soon spread to other states as a way to build revenue, if it hasn’t already.

I’d be interested in hearing from you on this matter.

Paul Heully

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