In New York, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of clothing retailer American Apparel Dov Charney was recently sued by a former employee who claimed that she was forced to have sex him several times. The lawsuit however, was temporarily suspended by a judge after it was discovered that the complainant is actually bound by an agreement that all employment disputes are supposed to go to arbitration.
The complaint filed against Charney, who has carefully cultivated a “cool” persona in the industry, contained shocking accusations.
The complainant, 20-year old Irene Morales, who was 17 when she first started working for the company, claimed that she was sexually harassed from the start of her employment and was forced to have sex with Charney for as long as 8 months.
Allegedly, the CEO kept asking for explicit pictures and was demanding sex from her when she turned 18. The pressure of his demands made her give in but she stated in her lawsuit that she became nervous and depressed and even suffered an emotional breakdown which required hospitalization.
Although she eventually resigned from the job, Morales said she failed to file a lawsuit because she was ashamed of the incident. However, in her current lawsuit, she is seeking $260 million worth of damages against Charney.
Sexual harassment cases aren’t cut and dried. Most people know that it is illegal for an employer or a boss to make sexual demands, requests for sexual favors, or commit sexually offensive verbal and physical acts against an employer. However, not many know that even if the victim consented to such or tolerated it, it can still be a valid basis for a sexual harassment case especially if such conduct is unwelcome and the employee merely consented out of fear of retaliation.
If you have more questions about sexual harassment, call the Mesriani Law Group for expert legal advice at our hotline number: 1-866-325-4529 or visit us at 12400 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 810 Los Angeles California, 90025.