A lawsuit has been filed against famous designer Alexander Wang to the tune of $50 million, claiming that a factory in Chinatown forced employees to work in sweatshop-like conditions. According to the Washington Post, 30 workers have claimed that Wang broke multiple New York state and federal labor laws at his new 4,000 foot flagship store in Chinatown.
One of the employees named in the lawsuit is 56-year-old Wenyu Lu, who had to be hospitalized after passing out from being forced to work 25 hours straight without a break. Lu was eventually fired, allegedly for complaining working conditions, labor law violations, and applying for workers compensation for his injuries. Ming Hai, Lu’s attorney, said that “Bad labor conditions are everywhere in the Asian garment community. It’s horrible. A lot of the workers are new immigrants and they don’t speak English. They work long hours. It’s like a new kind of slavery.”
As a result of the working conditions and hours, the workers allege illnesses, work-related injuries, and lost time from work and sleep. The nine charges in the lawsuit include that Wang forced employees to work 16-hour shifts in a windowless 200-square-foot room with up to 15 other people. Alexander Wang reportedly made around $25 million dollars in 2011.
While labor laws are fairly strict in the United States, corporations and small companies often fail to fairly compensate their employees, especially for vulnerable low-wage earners. If you believe that you may be being mistreated by your employer, you may be eligible to pursue financial remuneration for their wrongdoing. Contact a dedicated labor law attorney and fill out a free and simple form to see if you could enter a lawsuit to see if you could recover compensation for unpaid overtime or underpayment.