Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the department had generally been interested in the quality of the work and fabric used and did not investigate labor conditions, the New York Post reported Thursday.
The New York State Labor Department says Forest Uniform Corp. and a subcontractor, Technical Garment USA Co., owe $500,000 to 16 workers. One man who allegedly worked 70 to 80 hours a week may be owed $30,000.
The employer allegedly kept two sets of records, one showing the actual hours workers put in and the other showing that they worked no more than the legal maximum.
Labor investigators raided the company this week after finding that Forest Uniform had not paid registration fees for three years.
Police officers buy their own uniforms at stores that get them from one of the six authorized manufacturers.