American Apparel founder and CEO hit with $250 million teen sex suit
New York City –Dov Charney, the controversial founder and CEO of American Apparel, has been hit with his most serious lawsuit to date. Charney, 42, who has previously dodged lawsuits claiming sexual harassment, as well as non litigious-claims about a sexually charged work environment, is being sued for $250 million in damages for allegedly forcing a teen employee to perform sexual acts.
The suit, filed Friday in Brooklyn, N.Y., accuses Charney of sexual harassment, retaliation, gender discrimination and creating a hostile workplace. It also names the clothing company and its board of directors as defendants for allegedly knowing about Charney’s lewd behavior but not stopping it.
The details of the suit are explosive. It alleges that Charney took advantage of an underage employee, Irene Morales, to perform sexual acts on him. Morales, now 20, claims that Charney began with sexual advances when she was 17, and forced her to have sex when she first turned 18. For eight months, according to the suit, Charney continued forced sex with the girl, who was struggling financially, while also promising her a job advancement.
Morales later resigned, but the suit claims she suffered trauma and shame and was hospitalized for a nervous breakdown in 2008.
In a statement, American Apparel said Morales had left “without complaint and resigned with a letter of gratitude regarding her positive experience at the company” and alleged Morales and her lawyers were “engaged in an illegal conspiracy to extort money from American Apparel.”
The suit comes at a time when American Apparel is struggling amid faltering sales and losses. It has repeatedly warned in recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission of "substantial doubt" about its viability going forward.
For more, go to latimes.com/business/la-fi-charney-lawsuit-20110308,0,1869551.story.
Three’s a charm as AisleBuyer seeks growth
AisleBuyer, the mobile self-checkout and commerce solutions provider, announced the hiring of three new VPs. Jeremy Laughlin is the name most likely familiar to those in the retail industry as he spent time with Best Buy and Staples and was most recently with NCR where he oversaw implementation of a $1.5 million pilot self checkout pilot program with a Fortune 100 retailer.
He joins the company as a VP of sales responsible for the central region of the U.S. Also joining the company as a VP of sales is Mark Budreski. He previously served as a sales executive with MarketSight and will have responsibility for the eastern U.S. Named as VP of sales engineering was Tapan Bhatt. He previously held a similar role at Motricity and Amobee Media Systems and also spent several years at Sprint as a technology director.
“With the addition of Tapan, Mark and Jeremy, we are building a sales team with great retail and mobile technology experience,” said Mark Farnham, AisleBuyer’s chief revenue officer. “We’re no positioned to better serve retailers, (quick serve restaurants) and brands that are looking for the latest mobile technology to enhance the customer experience and provide significant value on the backend.”
According to the company, its mobile shopping platform is “revolutionizing the in-store shopping experience. It leverages smartphone technology to unite the best features of both "bricks" and "clicks" retailing. Its platform, which includes a virtual shopping assistant, "location aware" digital circular, and patent-pending, mobile self-checkout system, provides retailers with an end-to-end solution designed to increase sales, reduce costs, and offer unprecedented analytical insight into in-store shopping behavior.
Target expands clinic presence
MINNEAPOLIS — Target Clinic plans to open eight new locations in 2011. The in-store centers offer treatment for minor illnesses and injuries, skin treatments, vaccinations, tests and screenings, which are administered by health care professionals.
The new clinics will open in Target stores in the Twin Cities, Chicago and Ft. Lauderdale-Davie areas by the end of July.
“Target believes that quality health care services should be accessible and affordable for everyone,” said Dr. Josh Riff, Target medical director. “By opening new Target Clinic locations, we will provide our guests with even more support and convenience to help them meet the well-being needs of their families.”