american apparel immigration t-shirt

American Apparel's immigration reform T-shirt. Photo: eBay

There's a reason American Apparel's clothing is often out of this world -- allegedly numerous employees who manufacture the clothing are working illegally in the United States.

WWD reports that as many as one-third of the workers at American Apparel's Los Angeles production facilities aren't authorized to work in this country. The U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency held an inspection of the facilities early this year, and just now released the results to the clothing company.

While, of course, this could all just be chalked up to some HR mistakes, American Apparel is far from being a stranger to controversy. Aside from its provocative ads, the company just settled a lawsuit with Woody Allen for using his image (below) without permission.

Woody Allen went after American Apparel for using his image. Just one example of the brand's controversial billboards. Photo: WENN

Additionally, CEO Dov Charney is well-known for being an outspoken advocate for immigration reform. According to WWD, he's used his brand to sell T-shirts supporting the cause and has even put up advertising billboards to publicize the need for change.

In fact, the brand's blog has video of thousands of American Apparel employees taking part in the annual Los Angeles May Day march, and, of course, of Charney speaking about immigration reform at the rally. He told the crowd, "It's not just about workers and immigrants; it's about humanity."

Naturally, the loss of a third of its employees could mean big changes for the brand. According to WWD, the company doesn't anticipate being affected too much because it still has plenty of inventory and the capacity to continue producing.

However, American Apparel acknowledged, "As the ultimate impact is difficult to predict at this time, no assurances can be given as to how, if at all, the loss of a significant number of manufacturing employees will affect [our] business."

At this time, WWD reports that neither the company nor any employees have been charged, and AA promises to "fully comply with its obligations to establish the employment eligibility of prospective employees under immigration law."

Employees will have an opportunity to present documentation that clears them to work in the U.S., otherwise, they'll no longer be able to work for the company.