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American Apparel, big on immigration reform, gets fingered for suspect workers

by Brad A. Greenberg

July 1, 2009 | 3:50 pm

Portfolio last fall

The hits just keep coming for American Apparel and its founder, Jewish bad boy Dov Charney.

In May, American Apparel agreed to pay Woody Allen $5 million to settle a lawsuit the famously neurotic actor brought against Charney and Co. for misappropriating his image in this billboard ad. I think a handful of sexual harassment lawsuits are still pending against Charney, who infamously told aJewish Journal reporter in 2005, “I could pull my penis out right now, and I guarantee you no one would be offended.“

And then today America Apparel, which has been a prominent advocate for immigration reform, even using “Legalize L.A.” as a t-shirt and ad slogan, was fingered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for employing some 1,600 workers at its Los Angeles factories whose eligibility documentation is “suspect and not valid.” Another 200 workers had documentation that could not be verified. That spells trouble for about a third of American Apparel’s employees:

American Apparel said it could not accurately assess the impact on its operations from losing the employees, but said it did not believe any such loss would have a materially adverse impact on financial results.

“The company believes that its current surplus levels of inventory and manufacturing capacity would mitigate the adverse impact of any disruption to its manufacturing activities that may potentially result from the loss of these employees,” American Apparel said in the filing.

“ICE’s notification provided no indication that the company knowingly or intentionally hired unauthorized aliens and no criminal charges have been filed against the Company or any current employees,” it added.

More from Reuters here. A Legalize LA commercial is after the jump:

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