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American Apparel CEO sex harassment claims possibly discredited

Clothing shoppers in Missouri may be interested to know that according to an annual report released by American Apparel, numerous high-profile sexual harassment cases that involved the firm's CEO, Dov Charney, may have been fraudulent. At one point, Mr. Charney was implicated in seven separate cases of allegedly initiating unwanted sexual contact with advertising models and female employees at his company. In one case, he stood accused of imprisoning one woman in his apartment for sexual purposes.

American Apparel's report revealed that out of the numerous cases against the CEO, the only one that remains outstanding does not actually accuse Mr. Charney. This class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of all the female workers of the firm, and it accuses an unspecified worker. Other cases that remain in arbitration were settled without monetary liability to American Apparel, and the firm concluded that these matters would not have a negative effect on its business.

Even though American Apparel's report seems to indicate that its CEO is innocent of the charges against him, the fact that multiple cases occurred may be indicative of other sex discrimination or a hostile working environment in general. Firms like American Apparel that have a business presence all over the U.S. often have pervasive corporate cultures that spread to multiple locations.

Sexual harassment takes many forms, and it does not always have to incorporate explicit or obvious unwelcome behaviors. It can be extremely subtle, and some workplace environments even make it difficult to talk about incidents for fear of ostracism. As a result, many victims seek the assistance of attorneys who may help them build their claims and cases. In Missouri, people who are involved in sexual harassment cases may find it helpful to consult attorneys who may explain their rights and options.

Source: Business Insider, "Those sex harassment lawsuits against American Apparel CEO Dov Charney were mostly bogus, it turns out," Jim Edwards, March 12, 2013

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