On June 7, 2000, a group of Chinese immigrant garment workers filed a lawsuit against their employers in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 216(b) and the New York Minimum Wage Act, N.Y. Lab. Law § 650 et ...
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On June 7, 2000, a group of Chinese immigrant garment workers filed a lawsuit against their employers in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 216(b) and the New York Minimum Wage Act, N.Y. Lab. Law § 650 et seq. Plaintiffs, who were represented by attorneys for the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, alleged that they worked 80 hour, were paid below minimum wage and were not paid overtime. They sought damages in the form of back pay and liquidated damages. The complaint was amended to seek class action status.
Donna Karan International Incorporated, one of the defendants, moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim, asserting that it was not the employer of the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs maintained that while they were technically employed by the garment factory defendants, as all garments were made for Donna Karan, it should be liable as a joint employer. Donna Karan's motion was denied by District Judge Whitman Knapp on January 2, 2001. Liu v. Donna Karan International Incorporated, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18847, *1 (S.D. NY 2001).
Discovery ensued and Donna Karan sought to discover the immigration status of the plaintiff workers. On June 20, 2002, Judge Knapp denied Donna Karan's request on relevancy grounds. Liu v. Donna Karan International Incorporated, 207 F. Supp. 2d 191 (S.D. NY 2002).
Settlement conferences and negotiations followed, which ultimately produced a settlement between plaintiff and the Donna Karan International, Inc. Formal settlement papers were filed with the Court on July 30, 2003.
Following the settlement with Donna Karan, plaintiffs moved for a default judgment against the owners of the garment factories. On January 7, 2004, Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck issued a report recommending entry of judgment for plaintiffs against the factory owners, jointly and severally, for damages (including prejudgment interest) of $ 556,577.07, plus $ 20,355.00 in attorneys' fees and $90 in costs. Liu v. Donna Karan International Incorporated, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35 (S.D. NY January 7, 2004).
On March 1, 2004, the District Court (Judge Richard J. Howell) accepted and adopted Magistrate Judge Anthony Peck's report and recommendation and entered judgment in favor of plaintiffs. The judgment was amended on July 13 and July 31 of 2006.
The PACER docket reflects that post-judgment activity included efforts by plaintiffs to examine the factory owners under oath, in an attempt to collect the default judgment. It is unclear from the docket whether plaintiffs' default judgment was satisfied.Brian Ponton - 08/31/2007