Forever 21 In Hot Water Over Sweatshop Labor, Refuses To Release Records

Whoa boy, Forever 21 is in trouble again. And this time it’s not with designers claiming the company has ripped them off. No, now the U.S. Department of Labor is peeved with the company, over their refusal to release labor records. Forevs was subpoenaed for the records on August 21, but has thus far refused to comply with the request. At issue are several wage, overtime and records-keeping violations by companies affiliated with the manufacture of Forever 21 merchandise.

“We are disappointed that Forever 21 has refused to cooperate with the subpoena, particularly given the significant problems we have found among its suppliers. Since 2008, our investigators have identified dozens of manufacturers producing goods for Forever 21 under sweatshop-like conditions,” said Ruben Rosalez, regional administrator for the Wage and Labor Division of the DoL. “When companies like Forever 21 refuse to comply with subpoenas, they demonstrate a clear disregard for the law, and the Labor Department will use all enforcement tools available to recover workers’ wages and hold employers accountable.”

In order to enforce the supboena, the Department of Labor has filed against Forever 21 with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Ironically, earlier this week Forever 21 announced a three-month partnership with Glamour magazine titled Slave to Fashion, which aims to provide readers with essential items. [WWD]