Fashion News

LEGAL TROUBLES FOR AMERICAN APPAREL

The trouble, controversy, and lawsuits just keep on brewing for American Apparel. Included in their roster of pending cases are an employment discrimination case filed by a former public relations employee, a case now in arbitration filed by former employee who claims he was subjected to a racist work environment, a former sales representative who filed a wrongful termination and sexual harassment suit, a former IT employee who is alleging he was fired after refusing to pad inventory figures, and a former custom order manager who is charging she was subjected to a hostile work environment and that she still owed company stock.

Now, The Los Angeles-based company finds itself embroiled in yet another legal battle with its former head of European operations after being hit by a lawsuit, filed by Bernhard-Axel Ingo Brake, who alleges he was fired after complaining about the company’s employment practices in Europe.

Brake –who joined the company in 2002 when it was still a fairly small company and privately held — is further alleging that he is owed more than $1 million in bonuses and commissions that were verbally promised to him by founder and chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based American Apparel Inc. Dov Charney. WWD is reporting that Brake is suing for wrongful termination, breach of oral contract and infliction of emotional distress, among other charges. American Apparel tells WWD that they’re not sitting back any more and that they are now taking a proactive stance.

In their own suit, American Apparel is charging that Brake hired his mistress for a high-level job managing the company’s Switzerland business despite, American Apparel is alleging, the fact that she did not fulfill the duties of that position. In addition, the company alleges Brake hired his daughter to work in a company store — violating American Apparel nepotism rules — and paid her unwarranted bonuses, in an effort to enrich himself.