U.S. Department of Labor alleges Forever 21 vendors don't follow labor rules

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Los Angeles clothing retailer Forever 21 is under scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Labor for allegedly working with suppliers that don’t pay workers minimum wage or overtime.

The department said Thursday that Forever 21 has not complied with its subpoena for documents about its apparel contractors and manufacturers. Government attorneys have filed an action with the U.S. District Court of Central California, which will allow a judge hold a hearing on the matter.

“When companies like Forever 21 refuse to comply with subpoenas, they demonstrate a clear disregard for the law, and the Labor Department will use all enforcement tools available to recover workers’ wages and hold employers accountable,” said Ruben Rosalez, the department’s regional administrator for the division in the West.

Forever 21 did not immediately return a call for comment.

Rosalez said since 2008, the department has found about a dozen manufacturers that work with Forever 21 have “sweatshop-like conditions.”

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Under the law, employees that work more than 40 hours during a work week should receive time and one-half their regular pay for the additional hours.

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