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Wet Seal Wage Trial Delayed

October 21, 2003|Leslie Earnest | Times Staff Writer

A trial to determine whether trendy apparel retailer Wet Seal Inc. is responsible for a portion of back wages owed to four garment workers who made its clothes under contract was postponed Monday.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge rescheduled the proceedings, which are slated to begin Nov. 17.

The non-jury trial was expected to last about a week. The case will focus on a California statute that was meant to clarify who is liable when garment workers are underpaid. Under the law anyone who contracts with another to make garments is partially responsible for paying workers minimum wage and overtime if the contractor fails to do so.

In this case, the workers filed a claim with the state labor commission against their employer, sewing contractor D.T. Sewing; Los Angeles apparel manufacturer Rad Clothing; and Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal, which sells clothes to girls and young women at 620 Wet Seal, Arden B. and Zutopia stores.

Last December, the commission ruled in the workers' favor, awarding them back pay and damages of $240,000. Wet Seal was instructed to pay almost $90,000.

D.T. Sewing and Rad Clothing went out of business without paying, said Cassandra Stubbs, an attorney for the workers.

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