In July, we told you about the company being cited for employing undocumented workers following an inspection by the U.S. Immirations and Customs Enforcement Agency. As a result, the Los Angeles-based retail and manufacturing giant has just announced that it will be letting go of roughly 1,500 workers who cannot prove their immigration status, the Los Angeles Times reports.
American Apparel, known as much for its sexually suggestive ads as its cotton ringer tees, will also be dismissing workers whose employment records have problematic errors, such as fake Social Security numbers, the paper reports. All targeted employees will come from the company's downtown L.A. manufacturing facility.
Peter Schey, a lawyer for American Apparel, told the Los Angeles Times that about 1,500 workers would be on the chopping block this month. Schey added that American Apparel "is very disappointed and disheartened at having to terminate a very large number of workers who by and large have been reliable contributors to the success of the company."
In a statement to employees obtained by the paper, controversial American Apparel founder and CEO Dov Charney seconded those sentiments.
"Many of you have been with me for so many years, and I just cry when I think that so many people will be leaving the company," Charney wrote, according to the paper. "It is my belief that immigrants bring prosperity to any economy."
The company, which has been outspoken in the past for its pro-immigration stance and employment practices, even making a "Legalize LA!" tee to support immigrants, has told dismissed employees that they will be offered "priority treatment" for jobs once their immigration papers are deemed satisfactory, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The mass termination is yet another major blow to the company, which is still licking its wounds from a $5 million dollar settlement for director Woody Allen, who filed suit after seeing his image used without permission in American Apparel ads.
And as we reported earlier today, a UK ad authority banned an American Apparel ad featuring a young woman in a suggestive pose, deeming it indecent as she "appeared to be a child."
For more on Dov Charney's legal woes, click here.