Throughout the drama of the Alexander Wang sweatshop scandal--the allegations, the filing and re-filing of lawsuits, and of course the public egging--the NYC design firm has stayed relatively mum. But today, Alexander Wang issued a statement to WWD that again refutes the allegations--and offers a reason why the original plaintiff, Wenyu Lu, would have wanted to falsely accuse the designer.
A spokesman for the company told the trade:
“The claims regarding sweatshop conditions are completely untrue. In reality, this case was filed by an individual who was let go by the company as a result of serious harassment issues. We stand by our decision to promote a safe workplace environment for all employees regardless of false claims that may be waged against us in retaliation.”
The Wang rep added that far from being fired after applying for worker’s compensation for injuries sustained on the job, as Lu claims, the plaintiff was fired for bullying his co-workers. (Lu's lawyer C.K. Lee of the law firm Kraselnik & Lee declined to comment.)
Wang offered no insight into why Flo Durante, another former Wang employee who joined Lu's suit against the designer, would also allege that she was forced to work in sweatshop-like conditions. But perhaps that information will be forthcoming in the lawsuit, which was transferred to New York Federal Court on Friday.
In addition to the case going federal, the plaintiffs also asked Federal Judge Harold Baer to give the suit class-action status, which, as anyone who has watched The Good Wife knows, could mean big, big bucks for the former Wang employees.
Lawyers for Alexander Wang will have 20 days to reply to the complaint--so we can expect more news on the suit in the coming weeks. Stay tuned...