MINKOFF FINED: Rebecca Minkoff has been fined $77,000 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The handbag maker is being charged for not meeting workplace safety standards at its 33 West 17th Street corporate office and showroom in New York. Representatives from OSHA’s Manhattan office issued the complaint after an inspection prompted by workers’ complaints.

OSHA found that many of the sixth-floor offices and the showroom space were overcrowded and congested with boxes, rolling racks, workstations, chairs, equipment, storage and other materials, according to an OSHA statement released Thursday. “It’s critical to maintain swift, clear access to emergency exits, and it is a requirement under the law,” said Kay Gee, OSHA’s area director in Manhattan. “Management knew of the hazard of compromised emergency exit access, yet allowed the hazard to continue. Because of that, we are proposing the maximum fines allowable for the willful and serious violations.”

This story first appeared in the October 25, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

OSHA issued Rebecca Minkoff LLC one willful citation with a proposed fine of $70,000 for the exit access hazards, and one serious citation with a $7,000 fine for the slip, trip and fall hazards.

Alexandra Boet, chief financial officer of Rebecca Minkoff, said, “The most important thing to Rebecca Minkoff LLC is the welfare and safety of our employees. During an inspection, some deficiencies were brought to our attention on a matter that had been tasked with one of our upper management members, who is now no longer with the company. Since then, this problem has been rectified and we have taken action and contested the severity of the fine. We are a rapidly growing company and are moving into a new and custom-built space in the first week of December that is three times the size of our current location.”

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