American Apparel tells execs: No 'unwelcome' sexual advances on staff

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Wednesday 07 January 2015 11:50

US clothing firm American Apparel has updated its code of ethics just a month after its controversial founder Dov Charney was dismissed following accusations of misconduct.

At over 6,200 words, Bloomberg reports the company's new Code of Business Conduct and Ethics is more than four times longer than the version it replaces.

One of the more interesting features is the entry on Personal or Romantic Relationships Between Personnel (no. 7 on the document).

The Company is committed to preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, avoiding conflicts of interest, and fostering a comfortable working environment for everyone in a Company workplace.

  • American Apparel code of ethics

The new rules state that no employee may have a relationship - either romantic (including "casual dating") or personal (i.e. family ties, financial dealings, housemates) - if they have a "perceived or actual influence over the other's term of employment".

It also states that 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".

Charney, who co-founded the company in 1998, came under intense scrutiny following a string of sexual harassment lawsuits brought forward by former employees - he was suspended in June with the saga running on for six months. All the cases were either settled or dismissed, as the Independent reported last month.

The co-founder admitted he had intimate relationships with employees, but insisted they were consensual. He was eventually dismissed in December and was replaced by well-known fashion executive Paula Schneider who officially took up the post on Monday.

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