Forever 21 Worker Advocate Dismissed Under CA Anti-SLAPP Law

In 2002, workers at a Forever 21 clothing factory in California worked for months to resolve their grievances against the company through negotiation. After Forever 21 rejected the workers’ demands for paid back wages and compliance with labor laws, the workers filed a federal complaint, with the help of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center.

In response, the head of the company sued 19 individual garment workers and their advocates for libel, slander and other allegations of wrongdoing. A couple months later, the company dropped the individual workers from the suit, but maintained it as against the advocates. The advocates brought an anti-SLAPP motion, which the trial court denied.

In 2004, a California appellate court reversed the trial court, holding that the defamation claims lacked merit, and dismissing them against the advocates. 

See Fashion 21 v. Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, 117 Cal.App.4th 1138 (2004).

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