American Apparel has created a new, lengthier code of ethics for its employees after a drawn out battle that resulted in the company firing its founder and CEO, Dov Charney, for alleged sexual harassment and other charges. These new policies will affect workers in New York and across the country in American Apparel’s many locations, including its subsidiaries.
In 25 years as chief executive, Dov Charney has been involved in multiple sexual harassment scandals. Once he was removed from his position, American Apparel moved quickly to revamp its policies, producing the new code of ethics within a month of Charney’s leaving and announcing the company’s intent to formally file the revised code with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The revised code is four times longer than the previous version and clearly states that neither wanted nor unwanted sexual advancements are acceptable from any member of management. The updated policies put American Apparel’s stance more in line with other similarly sized corporations and help set the standards for other businesses to follow.
Sexual harassment in the workplace can come in many forms, from seemingly harmless yet inappropriate jokes to blatant sexual advances that can create a hostile work environment. Companies enact policies to help stop these events and keep working conditions safe for everyone, but written policies do not always deter employees from inappropriate actions.
When company policies are not enough, employees may find themselves in the uncomfortable or even terrifying position of being on the receiving end of unwanted sexual comments or advances. Sexual harassment laws were created to help when policy is not enough, and an attorney might be able to assist with legal intervention is needed.
Source: The Huffington Post, “American Apparel Now Explicitly Bans Managers From Hitting On Workers”, Kim Bhasin , Jan. 8, 2015