Tag Archives: Jezebel

American Apparel hipster-in-chief sued for sexual harassment, indignant that employees don’t keep quiet

Irene Morales, a young employee at a Chelsea American Apparel, is suing Dov Charney for sexual harassment. According to the New York Daily News, Morales seeks $260M in damages for forced sex acts over a period of eight months when she was only eighteen.

What makes this case so crazy is that according to AA’s response to Morales’s suit, CEO Charney makes employees sign “an agreement to submit any future claims to confidential binding arbitration.” That is: AA makes teen hires sign a contractual promise not to bring any public lawsuits against the company.

AA claims the hush contract was instituted to “protect the privacy interests of employees and former employees, and to prevent predatory plaintiffs and their attorneys from attempting to use the media to extort the company”:

The company intends to file a formal complaint with the NY state bar seeking disciplinary action against [the employee’s] lawyers who we believe are engaged in an illegal conspiracy to extort money from American Apparel. We are very confident that [her] claims will be promptly referred by the court to confidential binding arbitration where her claims and the company’s counter-claims will be resolved, we believe fully in favor of the company.

In fact, American Apparel employees keep suing Dov Charney for sexual harassment. It seems strange, right, that an employer who looks like this:

would be accused of sexual harassment? In response to a 2005 sexual harassment suit where an employee complained that Charney regularly walked around AA offices in his underwear, Charney said at his deposition: “I frequently drop my pants to show people my new product.”

This does not sound like healing.

American Apparel has attempted to turn Charney’s allure into a workable brand identity. Having risen risen to fame for hiring and firing employees based on full-length photos alone, AA famously fills its website and ads with half-naked young men and women twisted into poses and contexts that are…suggestive, at best.

When even hyper-suggestive ads aren’t working, American Apparel seems finally eager to silence Charney’s reputation. Not by healing, of course! By enforcing “confidential binding arbitration.”

Individuals and companies can enter into private contracts as they see fit. But this sounds more like silencing a teenager under an exploitative employer relationship.

What happened between Charney and the employees claiming harassment is hard to know for sure. But if you shake a haystack and a bunch of needles fall out — well — I certainly wouldn’t let my teenage self play in that haystack.

Here’s the full statement AA released in response to Morales’s suit (via HuffPo):

We have been informed today that Irene Morales, a former employee of American Apparel who left the company without complaint and resigned with a letter of gratitude regarding her positive experience at the company, has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in New York against the company. Upon her resignation, Ms. Morales acknowledged in writing that she had no pending claims against the company and signed a severance agreement which included a full release of claims and an agreement to submit any future claims to confidential binding arbitration. All American Apparel’s employees are subject to the same confidential arbitration agreement signed by Ms. Morales in order to protect the privacy interests of employees and former employees, and to prevent predatory plaintiffs and their attorneys from attempting to use the media to extort the company. Such an arbitration process was initiated by the company against Ms. Morales several weeks ago. The company intends to file a formal complaint with the NY state bar seeking disciplinary action against Ms. Morales’ lawyers who we believe are engaged in an illegal conspiracy to extort money from American Apparel. We are very confident that Ms. Morales’ claims will be promptly referred by the court to confidential binding arbitration where her claims and the company’s counter-claims will be resolved, we believe fully in favor of the company.

American Apparel founder Dov Charney accused of forcing teen employee into sex act in $260M suit

American Apparel Almost Bankrupt; Supply and Demand Alive and Well

Former Employee Sues Dov Charney For Sexual Assault

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Contempt of Course

Blah, blah, relationships, divorce, statistics, blah, predict, and then:

“Actually, some people have tried to measure these things — one psychiatrist, made famous in Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, claims to be able to predict divorce based on whether couples show contempt for each other.”

That’s interesting.  What do you think, kids?  Is contempt more deadly for a marriage than the factors listed in the original “yadda yadda statistics” article, like financial disagreements, religious differences, smoking differentials, etc.?

It makes a lot of sense.  The factors Daily Beast lists as statistically significant are all presumptively partner gaps.  Both partners are responsible for finances, for their religious choices, etc.

Contempt, on the other hand, suggests a state of inequality.  This is functionally one partner’s unwillingness to relate to the other.

Contempt can exist within any of those boxes, but it can also exist alone.  And what makes contempt unique is that it’s probably indicative of some underlying, pre-existing decision not to relate.  It’s the un-partnering.

Thoughts?

From Jezebel.

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Tuesday on the Internets

Ray’s empire expands, including the most exciting expansion of all:

Joining Glass next month will be Ray’s: The Game in the original, “pre-Obama” home for Hell-Burger (1713 Wilson Ave.), with cooks grilling burgers made from custom-ground venison, wild boar, elk, antelope, wild duck and ostrich. Why game? “No one else is doing it,” says Landrum, who sees the exotic burgers as “a great way to expand the repertoire.”

Tiger: Looking for validation, not variety?

Women’s feelings for women: Lust as envy, envy as lust, or maybe neither?

Want: Furniture made from reclaimed wine barrels.

WSJ Letters: Of Breasts and Shoes:

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force feels that mammograms are a waste of time and money because of false-positive exams, and anyway, the risk is evaluated at a meager 0.05% (Letters, Dec. 2). If, indeed, mammograms for women under 50 are not cost effective, and only save a few lives, then why are we taking our shoes off at every airport in the country?

Lee Mundy

Ellensburg, Wash.

Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project: The Three Great Interests of Man:

[T]he great interests of man: air and light, the joy of
having a body, the voluptuousness of looking.

Murdoch: You get what you pay for, incl in press:

[People who rewrite, without attribution, in the name of “fair use”] are not investing in journalism. They are feeding off the hard-earned efforts and investments of others. And their almost wholesale misappropriation of our stories is not “fair use.” To be impolite, it’s theft.

This is spectacular:

And finally, just because I love Hannah Arendt:

“For Hannah Arendt, the autonomy of politics is an attempt to preserve a space for human spontaneity, the freedom to act in unexpected ways absent the constraints of economic needs or social conformities.” [Harpers]

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Links

Is Carrie Prejean the last of the evangelical celebrities?  Jezebel on how it’s the comments that reveal a split between two sides of Christianity splitting over the kind of controversy Prejean invited.

How to pimp your passwords, and why it might be time.

Former AG Mukasey on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s trial in New York.  Relatedly, this photo always makes me wonder how the WSJ discovered that Ron Jeremy is being held at Gitmo:

ksm

I just really like this t-shirt design:

Da Vinci Rock Man T-Shirt

 

Finally, this is cute: How to use an apostrophe.  Not to be confused, of course, w/ the “blog” of unnecessary quotation marks.

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Jazz in the Streets

Again from Jezebel:

It’s not just a Seinfeld joke: The J. Peterman catalog exists, and it’s still in the business of attempting to shill clothes by evoking mystery and telling romantic tales.

But what’s fun is trying to guess what’s being offered just by the elaborate accompanying story. A few pitches — and what’s actually for sale.

The pitch:
“There was a time when gorgeous, lanky Josephine baker, a shocking black American living in Paris would walk nude (except for a few bananas) across the stage and shock and audience that came just for the purpose of being shocked. She was seen later walking the boulevards with a cheetah on a leash… There was jazz in the clubs, in the streets, in the air…”

What it is:
Marcasite jewelry.

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Happiness v. Resignation

This article (from Jezebel), suggesting that

for a lasting marriage, women should pick men who are at least five years older, and have less education

for some reason makes me wonder why marital bliss is always measured by duration.  Is it naive to imagine that two different metrics might be in order?

Jezebel — my new guilty pleasure — takes the piece to task, complaining that the study

makes marriage sound like a matter of bolts and widgets. And this is essentially how the research — or at least the coverage thereof — treats it.

After interviewing 1,000 couples whose relationships had lasted five years or more, the researchers found that while the man being at least five years older reduced the chances of divorce, when the woman had five years on her partner, divorce was more than three times as likely.

Couples were also more likely to split if they’d been divorced before, but, interestingly, the effect was less if both couples had a divorce behind them.

I absolutely tend to treat relationships like science, just bc it’s interesting to see people act more or less like themselves — or more or less anything — around a given partner.

Besides, I’d love to see some nod to modern relationships.  What does “divorce” even mean anymore, when we’re talking about its effect on future marriage statistics?  Would divorce after a two-year marriage have a greater statistical effect on future numbers than would a ten-year common law situation that finally splits?  Is it living together that makes the difference, or is it making and then retracting a vow?  Or is it just the intimacy that comes from sharing a number of formative years?

In other words: what is it about divorce that’s so statistically — and, evidently,  personally — poisonous?

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