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American Apparel

American Apparel now bans managers from flirting with staff

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Following the suspension – and eventual firing – of controversial American Apparel CEO Dov Charney, the company has issued a new code of ethics for its staff.

The 12-page document seeks to provide a statement of the “fundamental principles and key policies and procedures that govern the conduct” of the company and its businesses. It lists several policies which are aimed towards preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, avoiding conflicts of interest, and fostering a comfortable working environment for all employees.

It also explicitly states that managers are banned from flirting with and hitting on subordinates and other staff members.

“No management-level employee may make sexual advances, welcome or unwelcome, toward any subordinate, regardless of whether the subordinate reports to the management employee, either directly or indirectly,” the new code states.

“We will not tolerate the use of discriminatory slurs, or any other remarks, jokes or conduct that, in the judgment of the Company, create an offensive or hostile work environment or otherwise constitute abusive conduct.”

The new code appears to target many of the alleged behaviours Charney was accused of exhibiting in the workplace, which were outlined in his termination letter. These accusations have been denied by Charney and his lawyers.

He has also been accused of repeated allegations of sexual harassment by employees over the years, with seven women at one point filing suits against him. Charney has since filed a formal complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The code also reminds staff that if any harassment or unwelcome advances do occur, the aggrieved employee is strongly encouraged to utilise the procedures for reporting sexual harassment to the company’s human resources division.

“The Company does not tolerate harassment, including abusive conduct, of, or directed towards, any of our employees, whether by another employee, supervisor, officer, director, or a third-party, such as a vendor or customer.”

Image: Shutterstock

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