A labour task force in New York has raided a garment factory that makes dress uniforms for the New York Police Department (NYPD), after the factory allegedly underpaid workers.

The NYPD's dress uniform includes garments for funerals and ceremonial occasions.

Following the raid The New York State Labor Department's Apparel Industry Task Force has issued an order to confiscate items made at garment manufacturer Suburban Textiles Inc, trading as Forest Uniform Corp.

It has also issued an order confiscating all Suburban's manufacturing equipment.

The department also affixed tags to garments produced by Technical Garment USA Co, a contractor used by the manufacturer to produce some of its goods.

A statement said that the garments will remain confiscated and tagged until "restitution has been made to underpaid workers".

Both the manufacturer, Forest Uniform Corp, and the contractor, Technical Garment USA Co Inc, have been producing NYPD dress uniforms since at least 2007, a statement said.

The Labor Department has alerted the NYPD of its findings.

It said Forest Uniform Corp has been found in violation of state apparel registration law three times in the last three years.

It is the first time the Labor Department has utilised the Order of Confiscation provision in State Labor Law, which allows the Apparel Industry Task Force to confiscate apparel and equipment from any manufacturer or contractor found to be liable for two or more separate labour law violations during the preceding three-year period.

Violations by the manufacturer had included the failure to maintain required payroll records and failure to register as a garment manufacturer in New York State, the department said.

New York City Deputy Police Commissioner Paul J Browne said: "The New York City Police Department has no contracts with, and makes no purchases from, any of the manufacturers or contractors identified in the Labor Department investigation.

"None of the uniforms sold to members of the service by the NYPD Equipment Section is from these manufacturers or contractors.

"However, the NYPD has authorised members of the service to purchase dress uniforms that are sold privately and that are manufactured by Forest Uniform. Dress uniforms are not worn for regular police duties, but for funerals and ceremonial occasions.

"Considering the seriousness of the Labor Department's findings, the Police Department has removed this manufacturer from its list of authorised vendors of dress uniforms from which members of the service may privately make future purchases."