Famous Designer Alexander Wang Faces a Lawsuit Based on Labor Law Violations

It is no secret that employers often violate labor laws; add to this list (allegedly) top fashion designer Alexander Wang.  Famous casual sportswear fashion designer Alexander Wang is being sued for allegedly providing unsafe working conditions for his employees at his New York Office.

A $50 million dollar civil action suit has been filed in the Queens Supreme Court.  Employees such as FlorDuante are claiming that Wang provided unsafe working conditions, overworked his employees with approximately 90 hour/week shifts, and wrongfully terminated them after the employees had filed a workers compensation complaint against him.

Wang’s corporation claims that they adhere to labor laws, especially laws related to wages, overtime, and safe environment.  Briefly, employment law wants to ensure that employees have safe working conditions, work reasonable hours and do no face discrimination or wrongful termination.  Safe working conditions emphasize employers to provide working environments where chances of work-related injuries are minimal and all the necessary injury-preventative measures are provided to employees.  For instance, making sure that the floors stay clean so that no one can slip, or offering masks or gloves if employees are required to operate heavy and/or dangerous machinery.

Employers are also required to ensure that employees are being paid for all hours worked, and that the hours be reasonable with the employees taking at least two fifteen minute breaks in which they have physically stepped away from their desk.  Additionally, employers must make sure that there is no harassment or discrimination going on in the work place.  Taking preventative measure such as anti-discrimination or anti-harassment workshops, or having company policies explicitly stating a “no tolerance for discrimination or harassment” policy is a very good idea.  Alongside these conditions, employers must also remember that although most places employ at-will, this does not mean that employees can be fired based on acts such as complaining about labor law violations.

In lawsuits such as Wang’s, it is very rare that employers walk away having to pay nothing.  Mostly, employers want to settle such suits to avoid investing time and money in litigation.  Therefore it is likely that Alexander Want will have to pay damages to these employees, and it is likely that the damages amount will be well-negotiated by the attorneys representing both parties.

There are probably ways to avoid such instances.  Many companies are now placing video cameras and time card machines that record employees’ daily routine, movements, and timings.  Of course, such measures are implemented legally by giving employees notice before implementing such procedures.  Such efforts can help employers either defend themselves against lawsuits or force them to abide by labor laws.  Many corporations do in fact implement such measures for these reasons.

However, in the past and even the present, the fashion industry has had a lot of problems due to accusations of labor law violations.  Either companies in the fashion industry should implement such measures as well, or industry heads should look to lawsuits like Wang’s and realize that if they do not conduct their operations legally, adverse consequences will follow.

1 Response to “Famous Designer Alexander Wang Faces a Lawsuit Based on Labor Law Violations”

  1. 1 Matt McNally

    My wife and I are both presently involved in a separate lawsuit against the Wangs.
    We lived in San Francisco in a building owned by the Wang family trust from March ’08 -Dec ’10. The same building Alexander began his business from years ago.
    His brother Dennis was our absentee landlord and we had issues with his inattention to a number of problems at the basement apartment.
    Whenever we had a problem such as plumbing, washer/dryer failure and a host of others basic service issues we never had any help in regard to repairs. We paid our rent on time and were good tenants but were subject to tirades from Dennis if we ever brought up problems with the apartment.
    We were forced to move and threatened with utility shut down if we did not voluntarily leave within the three week notice.
    We moved out just to avoid the stress and never got our sizable security deposit back.
    We were forced to seek legal counsel and the matter is still in dispute.
    They were the worst landlords my wife and I have had in the 20+ years of apartment dwelling.
    We sympathize with the plaintiffs because we know the type of people they are dealing with and just how irresponsible and antagonistic they are. I wish the plaintiffs luck in their case v. the Wangs. You would think that with all the success they have had in their business they might treat employees and tenants a little better.

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