Today's Evil Beet Gossip

More American Apparel Scandal


My favorite bodysuit retailer is under a barrage of disturbing lawsuits. The company has recently faced five sexual harassment cases that have been settled, dismissed or placed in arbitration. And NOW an employee is claiming he was fired because he refused to cook the books.

The latest case was brought by Roberto Hernandez, who handled accounts payable and computer issues for the company. He alleges that in 2006 Mr. Charney repeatedly “demanded that Mr. Hernandez pad the inventory” of the company in an effort to lure investors. American Apparel, then a private company, was seeking outside investment, according to Mr. Hernandez’s complaint.

In the court papers, Mr. Hernandez says he “refused to participate in any scheme to potentially defraud the investors,” a position that he believes led to his alleged termination on Nov. 9, 2006, about a week after he claims he refused to cooperate.

Mr. Hernandez’s complaint also contains unflattering allegations concerning American Apparel’s work environment that echo allegations in other recent lawsuits. The complaint alleges that Mr. Charney [the company’s CEO] discussed business with the plaintiff while in the shower, kept naked pictures of female workers on the company’s computer server, and took employees to “strip clubs under the guise of showing off T-shirts.”

And things get even shadier from American Apparel:

Earlier, a California appeals court criticized the company for planning to issue what it called a “materially misleading” press release claiming a victory in an arbitration proceeding in one of the sexual-harassment cases. In fact, before the arbitration was to begin, American Apparel had signed a settlement with the plaintiff agreeing to pay $1.3 million in exchange for a statement exonerating Mr. Charney.

Oh, this is so sad! American Apparel was, like, one of my very favoritest shopping places. But after reading all this, I may not be able to return. I’ll have to go elsewhere for my bodysuits.

21 CommentsLeave a comment

    • Well i wouldn’t stop buying their clothes yet. You know some of those sexual harassment cases are about exploiting charney. Read an article about this writer from Jane magazine. She said she was. she has sexual exchanges with charney called fowl and then latter admitted it was b.s.

  • Look, I like AA’s clothes as much as the next girl — hoodies, especially — and their mission statement is admirable. But seriously, Dov Charney is ridiculously scummy, and maybe evil. (Interesting reading here.)

  • American Apparel is a rip off – why would I spend so much money for plain clothes – I can get a black hoodie anywhere.

  • And to think their whole schtick was like, “hey we don’t use sweatshops!” Instead of exploiting children for cheap labor, they exploit women and employees… Shame on American Apparel and their backhanded PR tactics!

  • hey, i used to work at aa and they don’t exploit their employees. the seamstresses and everyone involved get paid a fair hourly wage in fair and suitable conditions. as do all involved.

    and the women? you mean the pictures? if you take the time to look, the pics of the men are the same and equally racy. nothing new there…

  • I absolutely cannot STAND American Apparal; their ads are consistently ugly with unattractive models in horribly unflattering poses wearing gruesomely ugly clothing in awful colours. I DO NOT LIKE. Ugliest clothing advertising I’ve ever seen online, ever.

  • The Appeal of the American Apparel eludes me.

    Alls I know is their clothes are boring and overpriced and if I wanted to look at a bony pelvis I’d go to a Rotisserie Chicken joint.

  • i hate american apparel. the clothes are cheap looking and poorly cut and their sizes are really inconsistent. i agree with snowblood that their advertising campaign is just bad. like 80s porno.

  • I have to agree with Snowblood. I’ve always found the company repulsive. Their ads always look like they got a 15 year old to pose in some pedophiles apartment.

  • Janaycore:

    Yes. They did get a 15 year old to pose in a pedophile’s apartment. That pedophile is the CEO of AA.

  • i think american appearl has the most amazing clothes ever ive never been able to find clothes that fit because everything was to big !

    it might be a little pricy but if u dont have the budget for it then why complain go else where! i do agree that AA is stupid for alot of the shit like the thing that happened in LA where the locked the models in a cement room for weeks and stuff but it dosnt change that there clothes is amazing and i wont stop wearing it !

  • Btw not all the models are treated that way i went to new york for an AA photoshoot back in november and it was highly professional and i never had any problems and they never tried to make me do what i didnt want to do

  • I have worked for American Apparel for almost four years. There’s another issue that isn’t being discussed, and will perhaps come to light now that an ex-employee of Charney’s is suing for being denied the stock she was entitled.
    In December of 2007 when the company went public, employees were promised shares according to their status (PT or FT) and the amount of hours worked from time of hire up to December of 2007.
    Via emails and conference calls, Charney and others have promised that “shares were coming” at various deadlines that have now passed. As of yet, no one has received any stock. Letters were distributed in June detailing how many shares each employee would get – but the stocks have still not been distributed.
    I am now inclined to think that they are waiting it out – assuming that a significant number of long term employees will quit during the waiting period – thus being denied the stocks that are allowed them. Under the agreement you are only allowed the stocks “if you hold the share certificate in your hand before resignation or termination”. Nevermind having to wait for them for over a year.
    Furthermore they’ve now started a “cleansing” of payroll which includes firing people who are only working a few hours a week. It could just be coincidence – but I know of a few people who are just hanging on, working a few days a week on top of other jobs so they’ll still get the stocks they were promised. Could these trends be related? I wouldn’t yell conspiracy just yet, but I’m now feeling my job at risk – even though I’m a long term employee with no write-ups – just because I work under 15 hours a week. Or should I say, especially because I’m a long term employee.
    Granted, they are somewhat unorganized in certain areas, and the delay could be legitimate…but I’ll remain cynical until those shares are in my hands.

  • I am a current but almost outta there AA employee & the post by Lilly is 100% true. I personally do not have any eligibility to receive shares but I know employees who were supposed to & haven’t.

    There is also the issue of the time keeping system @ AA. If you make a mistake on this hand-scanner, like clock out to leave twice on accident for example, you will get paid 0 hours for that day & you won’t get your retro pay for probably 2 months or more. Then payroll & your manager will bitch about having to do something extra to get you your rightfully earned money, which is a part of their job. You will probably (if you are a hard worker) be constantly told you’re not doing enough, & if you’re a lazy manager or lazy fat friend of a manager, you’ll get to do whatever you want.

    The hiring of managers there is done horribly. One of my managers was hired at a bar & the other one was just granted a position even though this person literally had no experience or skills in management. People in backstock disappear on the clock, watch movies, sleep, all while they’re supposed to be working because there aren’t any cameras on them. Starting pay is in the single digits for the retail stores. When corporate comes for a visit they just spend the whole time looking for places to party & do almost nothing that they supposedly came to do, like clean house of all the assholes that work there & get some halfway decent people in there. Conference calls regularly contain the subject of firing all the ugly people from the stores. That would be like half of my co-workers, maybe 2 thirds.

    All around AA is low-class. If you have any respect for yourself, you’ll boycott that hellhole, & if you work there now, you’ll make it your mission in life to find a new job. Thank God I finally have a great job lined up & can leave that dump for good. I’m typing my resignation tomorrow!!!

  • about sexual harrassment:

    I personally know an ex manager at one of the aa stores in montreal… many, many years ago she said met charney a few times and he was the biggest perv. she said the reason the models in the ad campaign all looked freshly fucked was because most of them were… by him. ew.
    we know all big comapnies and corporations exploit workers and have some dirty secret, but there’s something way more disgusting when it’s a company that markets itself as super respectful of employees and ect. anyways it used to just be overpriced sweatpants and t shirts… and now it’s as ugly as you can imagine random 80’s clothes.