By Ryan Collett
A lawsuit against fashion designer Alexander Wang accusing him of running a sweatshop has reached the federal level in New York. The young fashion designer is fighting the allegations, claiming they are being filed by angry former employees.
The former employee who began the process is Wenyu Lu, along with thirty other unidentified workers. They’re suing Wang for $50 million. They are accusing Wang of running an illegal sweatshop in Chinatown where workers were forced to work sixteen-hour shifts in an unhealthy environment without overtime pay.
Lu says he was forced to work a break-less 25-hour shift and was later hospitalized after he passed out on the job. Lu initially filed a $50,000 lawsuit at the county level, but then withdrew in order to file it in the New York Federal Court.
Wang denied all accusations, and a rep for the designer said the lawsuit is being filed by, “an individual who was let go by the company as a result of serious harassment issues.” Wang said Lu was nothing more than a bully, and had bullied other employees during his time with the company.
Wang’s fashion label sells men’s and women’s wear that sell for hundreds of dollars. On the lawsuit, the company says they are committed to their decision to, “promote a safe workplace environment for all employees regardless of false claims that may be waged.”