American Apparel CEO Dov Charney is being sued by one former employee for "holding her captive and forcing her to perform sexual acts," the Los Angeles Times's Andrea Chang reports. Another eight of the LA-based clothing company's board members are also being targeted in the suit for knowing Charney was "a sexual predator" and not protecting Irene Morales, the employee in question, from him. In an interview, Morales recalls that Charney began incessently calling her not long after she began working at an American Apparel store, while she was still in high school. According to Chang, the suit said "he informed her that if she wanted to remain employed and be advanced by the company, she would have to engage in sexual acts with him as soon as she turned 18 years old."
This lawsuit is part of a long line of bad press for American Apparel, after testimonies from past employees suggested that they were hired and fired based on their looks. The colorful retail stores, apparently, even require applicants to submit recent photographs with their application and those hired are expected to follow strict "grooming" instructions. Charney himself has received several accusations of sexual harassment that never made their way to court, and as the LA Times also notes, American Apparel's increasing losses have made it the recipient of repeated warnings from the Securities and Exchange Commission "of substantial doubt about its viability going forward."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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