Besides high-waist jeans and expensive t-shirts, American Apparel is known for being controversial. Their sexual advertisements and creepy sometimes-CEO Dov Charney are a large part of the problem. However, what we don’t often hear about are the stories from their employees. Gawker profiled an ex-American Apparel sales associate and some of the things they have to deal with a horrid.
In the article, the former employee claims that customers often came into the store asking for the sales associates to try on clothes for them. There was one incident where a man asked an employee to try on some garments he was buying for his wife, because they were similar sizes. She agreed since she felt it was part of her job, but says she felt uncomfortable because the garments were mostly sheer or mesh. When she came out of the fitting room, covering her chest, the man allegedly pulled her hands down then shoved $20 into her pants. The man left the store but the employee was still visibly upset.
The anonymous sales associate noted:
“There did not seem to be a protocol for employees who are sexually harassed, and the manager was completely unconcerned when an employee expressed distress over harassment.”
The harassed sales associate did not get to leave work early. The same man later returned to the store asking for someone else to try on clothes for him. Allegedly the manager said the other sales associate could model the garments, as long as she wore something underneath the sheer items. Luckily another employee phoned the police, and they said to ask the man to leave if he comes in the store again.
Sadly, this wasn’t the only awful thing the employee encountered. There were other incidents despite the person only working at the store for 20 days. The entire thing is just so horrid, that it is no surprise she quit. We see the raunchy advertisements and some try to get those banned, but instead of focusing on the marketing, everyone should be looking at the employees and the stores to ensure that the people are being treated fairly. Just because they’re not on a poster, is no excuse to forget about them.
Check out Gawker to read the full article.
(Photo: Getty Images)