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Los Angeles Founder and CEO of American Apparel Hit with Two Sexual Harassment Suits

March 31, 2011

Our Orange County employment attorneys have been following the recent Los Angeles, California sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Dov Charney, the 42-year old founder and CEO of popular clothing store American Apparel, who has been hit with two sexual harassment lawsuits this month, that follow a long line of sexual accusations that have shadowed Charney's provocative career as CEO.

Charney's edgy personality and unconventional behavior reportedly helped to swiftly bring success to the retail clothing company that started as a colorful wholesale cotton t-shirt business in downtown Los Angeles, known for basic styles that are often modeled by young girls in blatantly sexual ads.

But according to the Los Angeles Times, Charney's bad publicity and behavior continues to influence the public company's currently troubled business operations--with former employees accusing the founder of a sexually charged hostile work environment, filled with inappropriate and crude comments and a sexually charged lifestyle that includes having consensual sex with his employees. Charney has been very public about his management style, and the importance of stimulating creativity by fostering a workplace that is sexually charged.

Earlier this month, Charney was hit with a $250-million lawsuit by a former New York store employee, who accused the founder of sexually abusing her when she was 18-years old, by holding her prisoner in his apartment and allegedly forcing her to perform oral sex on him--under the threat that if she didn't perform, she would lose her job.

This week a second sexual harassment suit has surfaced in Los Angeles, California, by Kimbra Lo, who claims that she was harassed by Charney seven months after she left American Apparel, when she went to Charney's home in Los Angeles to discuss a new job with the company as a model and photographer. Lo states that after she was invited into his bedroom for the interview--a place where Charney has publicly claimed he often conducts his meetings--he tried to have sex with her that was non-consensual.

Lo's claim is part of a lawsuit that also names three other women, who are reportedly unable to publicly discuss their sexual harassment complaints because they signed a confidentiality agreement while working for the company--an employment requirement to work for American Apparel.

In the past few years, Charney has been slapped with several sexual harassment lawsuits, none of which have gone to trial--one was dismissed and the other two were reportedly settled. The company's board of directors has reportedly stood behind Charney publicly, and Charney still owns over 50% of American Apparel's stock, acting as chairman of the board.

In Santa Ana, Placentia, San Clemente, Costa Mesa and other cities in Orange County, California, contact our employment attorneys at Howard Law, PC today.

Chief of American Apparel Faces 2nd Harassment Suit, The New York Times, March 23, 2011

Clothing exec's style overshadows brand, Los Angeles Times, March 9, 2011

American Apparel Exec Calls $250 Million Sex Harassment Suit 'Extortion', ABC News, March 9, 2011

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC: Sexual Harassment

Related Blog Posts:

"Bones" Television Star David Boreanaz Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit, California Employment Lawyers Blog, March 30, 2011

Casey Affleck Settles Hollywood Sexual Harassment Lawsuits, California Employment Lawyers Blog, September 20, 2010