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Los Angeles, CA
Ilse Metchek, the President of the California Fashion association (CFA), created the organization in 1994, with assistance from the major financial and manufacturing participants of the region’s apparel industry. The CFA provides leaders of the Southern California’s manufacturing and textile community with the opportunity to share information about the business of conducting business in the current global economy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

New Test For Independent Contractors


Most ‘Contract’ Workers Should Now be Classified as Employees …
A new California High Court mandate!
April 30, 2018.  …..The California Supreme Court reversed a long standing precedent that provided employers with some flexibility in classifying employees as independent contractors versus employees.  Previously, there was some flexibility when determining whether workers should be classified as employees or independent contractors for purposes of California wage orders, and the imposed obligations relating to the minimum wages, maximum hours, and basic working conditions (such as required meal and rest breaks).

Case: Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Dynamex offers “on-demand” pickup and delivery services to the public and large business customers. The lawsuit involved two Dynamix delivery drivers, suing on behalf of a class of allegedly similarly situated drivers. The workers filed a complaint against Dynamex alleging that the company had misclassified its delivery drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.

The Court’s ruling effectively adopted the criteria described as the “ABC test.” The “ABC” test is utilized in some jurisdictions and contexts to distinguish employees from independent contractors. This standard’s objective is to create a simpler, clearer test for determining whether the worker is an employee or an independent contractor.

Under the ABC test, the worker is an employee unless the hiring entity (company) establishes each of three factors:
  1. that the worker is free from control and direction over performance of the work,
  2. that the work provided is outside the usual course of the business for which the work is performed
  3. that the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business.
Prior to this ruling, California courts used a multi-factored approach, looking at the employer’s control over workers and considers several secondary factors in analyzing a worker’s classification. The ABC test is far stricter than the prior test.  in July 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an Administrator’s Interpretation which concluded that, based on the ABC test, “most workers are employees”

The new ruling presumes that a worker hired by an entity is an employee and places the burden on the employer to establish that the worker is an independent contractor.
If the employer fails to show that the worker satisfies each of the three criteria, the worker should be treated as an employee, not an independent contractor. According to the Court, “The hiring entity’s failure to prove any one of these three prerequisites will be sufficient in itself to establish that the worker is an included employee, rather than an excluded independent contractor, for purposes of the wage order.”

Dynamex drivers were held to be employees even though they provided their own vehicles, paid for all of their transportation expenses among other things.
The Court reasoned:
(i)            that Dynamex could not establish that the drivers performed work outside the usual course of the business as set forth in part (B) above. Dynamex’s entire business was that of a delivery service, unlike other businesses in which the delivery of products is outside the usual course of its business.
(ii)           (ii) Dynamex obtained the customers for its deliveries, sets the rate that the customers would be charged, notified the drivers where to pick up and deliver the packages, and tracked the deliveries.

The Court clarified that a hiring entity cannot satisfy part (B) of the test by merely showing that the worker performs work “physically outside of the employer’s place of business.”

The Court’s ruling raises doubts about existing independent contractor relationships in California, exposes companies to liability, and raises the specter of new wage-hour class actions. Companies with independent contractors in California should immediately reevaluate their independent contractor relationships, adjust as necessary to comply with current law, and evaluate how to ameliorate exposure for prior decisions to classify workers as independent contractors.

Influencers are Stealing Imagery


....now that Influencers are earning commissions!

          Influencers are Stealing Imagery

Los Angeles-based Nita Batra filed suit in a California federal court this week, alleging that PopSugar “decided to capitalize on the influencers’ social media following by copying and posting thousands of influencers’ Instagram images, as well as their Instagram profile photos and bio line information on its own website without authorization.”

Hundreds of ‘influencers’ may be able to join a new lawsuit filed against PopSugar.

PopSugar, the fashion and celebrity news website, made headlines this spring for allegedly stealing the images of one of the new ‘influencers’, and posting them on its website in furtherance of a “massive infringement” scheme.  

According to her multi-million dollar complaint, Batra, who boasts a following of 215,000 on Instagram, alleges that, in mid-April, PopSugar swiped thousands of influencers’ Instagram imagery to create shoppable pages and individual influencer “subpages” on its own website.

Batra claims that PopSugar also “removed the products’ affiliate links.” Batra has a partnership with content platform/shopping discovery app ‘rewardStyle/LIKEtoKNOW.it.’ This app enables influencers to earn commissions if their followers purchase any of the linked products.

In place of the rewardStyle/LIKEtoKNOW.it affiliate links, PopSugar allegedly inserted its own affiliate links, pointing to ShopStyle, a competing shopping platform that PopSugar previously owned, and was using at the time of the acts alleged.  As a result, PopSugar actively “diverted commissions from the sales of products featured in the influencers’ images to itself … in order to monetize the content for its own benefit.”

“When caught, PopSugar’s co-founder and CEO, Brian Sugar, attempted to minimize PopSugar’s culpability,” Batra’s complaint states, “tweeting on April 17, 2018, that the misappropriated pages were ‘intended for internal use only, but were mistakenly left open, albeit hidden from search engine indexing and social media.’”

Protecting Your Brand Is The First Step to Being Successful

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The New Order of ‘Shopping the Market’

The New Order of ‘Shopping the Market’
Buyers are now shopping U.S. regional markets for product variety and fashion forward styling!

The road to international buying and selling seems to be paved now through regional markets and industry networks. Retailers are finding that the best way into the U.S. market may be through the discovery of regional preferences, rather than the New York Nerve center.

Regional markets, with temporary leasing deals and special promotions, offer a lucrative toe-hold, especially for international lines. The market groups, such as the Fashion District in Los Angeles, portray themselves as gentler alternative to New York, offering enhanced hospitality, convenience and access. Fashion Market Buildings offer temporary deals, where companies can test markets without committing to a permanent space. Receptions and fashion shows help to introduce them to buyers and sales reps.

Contemporary and international brands, with their distinctive styling, have already been discovered by U.S. buyers. The primary clientele of regional markets are the independent specialty stores, who clamor for lines that set them apart from the competition of the major mall-based retailers and their monthly ‘sales’. Retailers worldwide want direct routes to hot U.S lines to satisfy brand-hungry consumers. Truly, in 2013, retailers (particularly in the U.S.) want constant newness.

Teenage customers are the same all over the world; they want the looks on MTV, in magazines and on the internet. California’s large branded manufacturing sector showcases its strength in juniors, contemporary and denim categories, making it a natural draw for international accounts. Fashion apparel represents the largest manufacturing sector in L.A. and the second largest in California, with annual wholesale volume of more than $25 billion, according to current statistics from the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.

Fit, fabric and color differences are apparent in the different market regions. Heavy wools may work for cold climates, but buyers in the Sunbelt regions may never see even the lightest wool. California’s brands show lightweight fabrics, more color, updated styling, and much more variety.

International business has grown significantly for Los Angeles. The Fashion District draws buyers from 34 countries, including Asia, Central, and South America, and works with foreign delegations to bring in more global ‘partners’. The effort has intensified over the years, offering ever more temporary showcases and fashion presentations.

While the potential is undeniable, pitfalls remain. International lines see the U.S. as a pot of gold; they look for the big hit with a large order from major retailers, but do not take the time to establish credibility with independent retailers first. One hurdle they face is the different buying style of U.S. retailers. U.S. buyers, with many choices, initially place relatively small orders with a variety of lines.

Most companies builds their international sales through a network of agents, distributors, and licensing deals, along with e-commerce; also showing at trade shows such as Las Vegas’ MAGIC. Setting up business internationally can be tricky. There are so many issues; sizing, currency, freight, customs, government regulation, trademarks, etc. No one entity can take care of everything; - CFA has a network of people that can.

Part of the mission of the California Fashion Association is to bring international business to California. The CFA membership includes apparel and textile manufacturers, and related services, such as freight forwarders, package developers, marketers, lawyers, accountants, and bankers; all essential to domestic and international retailing.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Source for Information about the California Industry

"California Fashion Manufacturing (CFM)" is a new program and website developed and managed by the California Fashion Association. The goal is to develop opportunities for strategic alliances with Suuthern California apparel industry brand managers and local industry specialists.
...To continue reading, please click here.