We are officially living in a post-Dov Charney world. Well, metaphorically speaking. The former American Apparel CEO is alive and kicking, but the company he founded is going through some big changes. American Apparel's new ethics code prohibits dating within the company, specifically stating that managers cannot have relationships with their subordinates. Hmmmm, sounds like a direct response to the sexual harassment complaints that cost Charney his job.
The new code of conduct contains 6,200 words, WWD reports, making it four times as long as the previous document. According to the new rules, "[m]anagers and subordinates are now prohibited from having romantic relationships, including dating casually." The document also includes a section with updated guidelines on the company's zero-tolerance policy regarding discriminatory remarks and slurs made towards employees.
These newly instituted policies seem like a direct response to the accusations of sexual assault, discriminatory language, and all-around sleaziness that ultimately got Dov Charney ousted from the company. Although American Apparel allowed him to get away with being The Worst for far too long, I can appreciate any guidelines seeking to further protect employees from horrific treatment at the hand of their employers.
According to the WWD report, the new code follows a series of major managerial shake-ups for the brand.
Clothing-industry veteran Paula Schneider was chosen as CEO last month and officially took the post yesterday. The chain also brought in Hassan Natha as chief financial officer and Chelsea Grayson as general counsel.
American Apparel also named Colleen Brown, who joined the board in August, as chairman. The moves represent a shift for a company that had no women on its board before last year.
Perhaps having more women on board will help alter American Apparel's reputation of extreme sexism in the name of "shock value."
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