In the 24 years he has been in business, Paul Heully has placed images on everything from concert T-shirts for famous rock bands to team sweatshirts for company fundraisers.
As owner of Lightning Ridge Screenprinting and Embroidery, Heully said he has never made any of those garments from scratch in his 2,000-square-foot facility in Ventura. Officials from the state Office of the Labor Commissioner, however, disagreed and recently fined Heully $300 â€” $100 per employee â€” for operating without a garment manufacturer’s license.
Aside from having to pay the fine, Heully said, he will also be required to take an exam and pay thousands of dollars annually to register with the state.
Throughout the state, small-business owners like Heully and other silk-screen printers are taking their fight to court, while legislators look to modify and clarify the 30-year-old law.
This explains in part why California is ranked 48th of the 50 states in freedom.