Alexander Wang ‘Sweatshop’ Lawsuit Dismissed

A judge dismissed the lawsuit waged by the designer's former employees, after both sides agreed on a settlement.

NEW YORK — A judge dismissed a $450 million lawsuit claiming that Alexander Wang’s factory in Chinatown here was a “sweatshop,” and that the fashion brand had violated a bevy of state labor laws.

This story first appeared in the August 15, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

New York federal court Judge Harold Baer on Monday dismissed the suit brought against the company by former employees, following an undisclosed settlement between both sides two weeks ago.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but according to a letter dated Aug. 1, following the agreement, both sides would submit a request to the court that the case be dismissed with prejudice, meaning that once dismissed, neither side could file an appeal.

“We are gratified that this matter has been dismissed, as the allegations were unfounded and completely false,” a spokesman for Wang told WWD.

Lawyers for former Wang employees Flor Duarte and Wenyu Lu declined to comment.

Since March, when the case was filed, there had been intense media coverage surrounding allegations that Wang had violated New York State labor laws, including provisions covering overtime, compensation and minimum wage.

Duarte and Lu claimed fellow employees were forced to work 16-hour days without overtime in an unventilated, windowless 200-square-foot room with more than 15 other workers.

In June, Wang denied the “scurrilous and inflammatory” allegations, calling his two ex-workers “disgruntled” with “axes to grind.” Lawyers for Wang noted that the Chinatown workspace was “modern, bright lit” with “high ceilings and large windows.”

Monday’s decision put an end to the back-and-forth, as Judge Baer also ordered that both parties be responsible for their own attorney’s fees and other costs related to the case.