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Suit Against American Apparel Withdrawn

November 09, 2005|Molly Selvin | Times Staff Writer

A Chicago federal judge has dismissed one of three sexual harassment lawsuits pending against Los Angeles garment maker American Apparel Inc. and its owner, Dov Charney.

American Apparel, which manufactures T-shirts, jackets and other casual wear in its downtown factory, has cultivated an edgy, provocative image in its advertising and in published interviews with Charney.

The Chicago suit, dismissed last week at the request of plaintiff Julie Carrozzi, was filed in August. She was hired as a district manager in November 2004 to help open American Apparel's retail stores in the Chicago area.

Carrozzi, who worked for the company for almost three months, alleged she was fired after complaining that Charney had created a hostile working environment, according to court documents.

Among other complaints, she described as "pornographic" a poster that hangs in one of American Apparel's Chicago area stores. The poster is a collage of Penthouse magazine covers. Similar art hangs in some of the company's other 49 U.S. retail stores.

Still pending are two other harassment suits filed by former employees and a suit by New York-based Navigators Insurance Co. The insurer seeks to cancel the employment liability policy it wrote for American Apparel, contending that Charney lied about having a zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment.

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