American Apparel is taking a stand after firing its controversial CEO Dov Charney less than a month ago, by updating its code of ethics in an effort to “clarify, update, or enhance the descriptions of the standards of conduct that were expected of all directors, officers and employees of the company.”
The document is about 6,200 words long, which is more than four times the length of the previous version. The contents are pretty standard, specifying that American Apparel is an equal opportunity employer, requires respectful conduct free of harassment, and proclaiming that no management-level employee may make sexual advances toward any subordinate. However, when taking into account Charney’s controversial run as CEO, the new standards of conduct seem to be a direct effort by American Apparel to help salvage what’s left of its reputation.
Charney was the subject of at least five sexual harassment lawsuits since the mid-2000s. None of the accusations have been proven, but some of the cases remain pending, with the others dismissed, remanded to private arbitration, or thrown out. He was also accused with purchasing travel for family members with company funds, and even sued for throwing dirt at an employee once.
American Apparel has reported four straight years of losses, despite an increase in sales, and will likely report a fifth annual loss after losing $40.9 million for the first nine months of the year. Its currently being headed up by Paula Schneider, who previously worked at BCBG Max Azria.