NEW YORK — A district court judge has struck down Donna Karan International’s request to learn the immigration status of workers at a Manhattan contractor who claim they are owed back pay.
The decision handed down last week was part of a two-year-old legal battle in which five garment workers are suing DKI and the factory they worked at, Jen Chu Fashion Corp., with violating minimum wage and overtime laws.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court upheld the claims of Hoffman Plastic Compounds Inc. in a case versus the National Labor Relations Board, ruling that employers were not liable to pay illegal immigrants back wages for work not performed after the workers in question were fired. U.S. citizens can petition for lost pay after being illegally fired.
Judge William Knapp wrote in his decision that it was "not clear" that precedent would apply to the DKI case, in which employees were trying to recover pay for hours they had worked. He also said there was a danger that seeking the immigration status of the workers in question would intimidate them out of pursuing their claim.
Ken Kimmerling, legal director at the Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund and one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the DKI case, said the decision "has implications well beyond this case. To suggest that workers who aren’t documented shouldn’t be entitled to sue and attain the minimum wage is pretty outrageous."
A DKI spokeswoman said of the decision: "The order relates to a limited discovery request in a two-year-old lawsuit. In light of the changing nature of the law in the area, the court denied our request to take discovery of the immigration status of the plaintiffs at this time. However, it expressly provided our right to renew our request in the future, which we may do."
The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status for the case being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion