Forever 21 Ordered by Court to Respond to DOL Subpoena, Regarding FLSA Violations

March 20, 2013

In a previous Santa Ana, California employment attorneys blog, wage and hour attorney Vincent Howard discussed a class action lawsuit against the popular Los Angeles-based retail store Forever 21, after a group of employees accused the company of forcing them to work off the clock hours, and skip meal and rest breaks--a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The U.S. Department of Labor continues to fight against the widespread occurrence of FLSA violations in the California garment industry, which recently brought Forever 21 back into the news again, after a U.S. District Court Judge ordered that the retailer produce documents that were demanded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD).

The WHD reportedly issued the subpoena in August of last year, while investigating to see if Forever 21 had violated the FLSA's hot goods provision--which keeps employers from sending any items that were produced by violating the FLSA's overtime, minimum wage, or child labor provisions. The subpoena was originally issued after the WHD conducted a major investigation into the garment district of downtown Los Angeles in August, uncovering minimum wage and overtime violations in warehouse shops that produced goods for major clothing retailers. The WHD reportedly found garments that were produced in at least one of the shops, making clothes for Forever 21 stores. Forever 21 allegedly refused to comply with the subpoena.

According to the FLSA, if a company engages in these wage and hour violations, the secretary of labor can investigate and bring actions to the employer in federal court.

As Vincent Howard reported in a related Santa Ana Employment Lawyers blog, another recent WHD wage and hour investigation of a single building in the Los Angeles Fashion District uncovered extensive violations of federal and state minimum wage, overtime and record keeping laws by all of the ten garment contractors in the building. The WHD reportedly recovered over $326,000 in back wages for 185 low wage workers.

Over the past five years, the WHD has conducted over 1,500 wage and hour investigations of Southern California garment employers, finding violations in 93 percent of the wage and hour cases. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) employers are required to pay nonexempt employees covered by the act the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, with overtime compensation of one and one-half the employees' regular pay rates for any hours worked beyond a forty hour workweek.

In Costa Mesa, California, contact labor and employment attorney Vincent Howard at Howard Law, PC today.

Federal court orders Forever 21 to surrender supply chain information subpoenaed by US Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor Press Release, March 14, 2013

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

California Department of Industrial Relations, (DIR)

Related Blog Posts:

State and Federal Investigation Uncovers Massive Wage and Hour Violations in Downtown Los Angeles Garment Industry, California Employment Lawyers Blog, February 1, 2013

California Workers Sue Forever 21 in Class Action Wage and Hour Lawsuit, California Employment Lawyers Blog, January 20, 2012

DOL Conducts Enforcement Initiative to Combat Wage and Hour Violations in the Los Angeles Fashion District, SoCal Garment Industry, California Employment Lawyers Blog, November 26, 2012

Tyson Workers to Receive $32M in Wage and Hour Settlement, California Employment Lawyers Blog, September 26, 2012

CA Labor Commissioner Sues Farm Labor Contractor for Wage and Hour Violations, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 21, 2012

Courtney Love Sued for Wage and Hour Violations, Wrongful Termination, California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 19, 2012

CA Labor Commissioner and DIR Continue to Combat Wage Theft in the Workplace, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 30, 2012

Rite Aid to Pay Over $20M in Class Action Wage and Hour Lawsuit Settlement, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 19, 2012

DOL Launches Los Angeles-area Restaurant Enforcement Initiative to Combat FLSA Violations, California Employment Lawyers Blog, May 3, 2012

Hotel Workers File Lawsuit Against Hotel Staffing Company for Wage and Hour Violations, California Employment Lawyers Blog, January 30, 2012

Hospitality Industry Continues to Violate Workers' Wage and Hour Rights, California Employment Lawyers Blog, April 18, 2011

Default Judgment of $800K Obtained in DOL Garment Manufacturing Case, California Employment Lawyers Blog, December 17, 2010

Los Angeles Workers and Activists Rally at City Hall to Protest Wage Theft, California Employment Lawyers Blog, November 19, 2010

Joe's Jeans Pays $159K in Back Wages to LA Garment Workers, California Employment Lawyers Blog, January 20, 2011

DOL Wage and Hour Division Audits for Low Wage Industry Violations, California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 20, 2010

New Study Reveals More Abuse of Low-wage Workers in Los Angeles, California Employment Lawyers Blog, January 11, 2010

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