Forever 21 has been ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Margaret Morrow to produce documents that an administrative subpoena requested. The subpoena was issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, according to a U.S. Department of Labor press release.
“Garment workers historically have been subjected to exploitation and paid substandard wages,” said Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith. “The order underscores that everyone in the supply chain has a responsibility to ensure that workers receive the federal minimum wage and earned overtime, and it demonstrates our commitment to enforcing those protections despite tactics designed to obscure the employment relationship.”
The subpoena was issued on August 16, 2012 in the middle of an investigation of Forever 21. The investigation is looking into whether or not the company violated the ‘hot goods’ provision of the FLSA. This provision prohibits employers from shipping any products that were produced in violation of the minimum wage set forth by the act or its child labor laws or overtime laws.
Morrow ruled that the subpoena was part of a “lawful investigation within the authority of the secretary.”
The order was signed on March 7 and entered in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California. The company has 10 days to submit the requested documents.