American Apparel revises code of ethics

New York residents might be interested to learn that clothing manufacturer and retailor American Apparel has revised its code of ethics in an effort to prevent workplace sexual harassment. The company unveiled the new 6,200-word document on Jan. 6 after firing its chief executive and founder in December. Dov Charney, American Apparel’s former CEO, was ousted after numerous allegations of sexual harassment.

Along with sexual harassment, the board of directors accused Charney of misappropriating company funds. After a six-month dispute, Charney was served a termination letter and replaced by a new female CEO. In a statement, the new CEO announced that she planned to make American Apparel a better company while remaining true to its core values. The company also announced its intention to update its code of ethics in a December filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

American Apparel’s new code of ethics is reportedly four times longer than the document the company used before. The new code bans any discriminatory jokes or slurs and forbids management-level employees from making sexual advances toward any subordinate employees. According to the new code of ethics, sexual advances will not be tolerated even if the subordinate does not directly report to the manager.

An employee who is being forced to tolerate unwanted sexual comments in order to keep their job might want to speak with an attorney who has experience in employment law matters. If tolerating inappropriate behavior has become a condition of employment, an attorney may be able to help the worker file a sexual harassment lawsuit. Some victims of workplace sexual harassment are able to seek financial compensation for their ordeal.

Source: The Huffington Post, “American Apparel Now Explicitly Bans Managers From Hitting On Workers”, Kim Bhasin, Jan. 8, 2015

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