Cornell University

Why companies and media organizations are taking days, not months, to act on sexual allegations

Why companies and media organizations are taking days, not months, to act on sexual allegations

Lurid allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment lawsuits swirled for years around former American Apparel founder and Chief Executive Dov Charney.

As early as 2004, a reporter from Jane magazine wrote that Charney masturbated in front of her. (Charney has asserted that the act was consensual. In a follow-up story, the reporter said she was not a victim and was not exploited.) A year later, former employees filed lawsuits that claimed he fondled himself in front of them or appeared in the office only in his underwear.

It wasn’t until summer 2014 that the Los Angeles company’s board suspended...

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