American Apparel Employee-Maid: Dov Charney Stiffed Me

An Oberlin student and former American Apparel employee says that Dov Charney owes her one hundred dollars for services rendered. Below is her tale of wageless woe.

"The company is staffed with young employees with no experience who were hired for their looks. Which would be fine, if it were not also run by young managers and models with no intelligence who were hired for their looks," writes the anonymous author (mm hmm), who worked in an American Apparel store in NYC over the past summer. When Dov came to town to visit her store, he sought out employees to clean the company-owned apartments where he stays. Therein lies the class war.

After all the employees refused an offer to clean one of the apartments during our shift (aka for $9 an hour) Dov finally called and told my manager he would pay two of us $100 for the hour. (Approximately what we make in a week.) Jumping at the opportunity to pad our meager paychecks, my friend and I walked over the apartment and quickly began cleaning. As I swept the floor, my friend washed the dishes and chanted "I have a college degree" to herself.

Three months and one paycheck later, I have yet to see our hard-earned dollars. Admittedly, after pestering my manager three times, I've largely given up on the money, leaving NYC and the company behind as I begin my last college year before true unemployment begins. Yet as I watched the company emerge in national headlines for bankruptcy, rather than for another sexual-harassment lawsuit, I doubt any ex-employee is very shocked. Dov Charney may make fantastic shiny leggings. Nevertheless, he runs his multinational company with the maturity of a 15-year-old who is bored by financial consequences, but knows that he likes see-through shirts.

We firmly believe that employees should be paid even if they are Oberlin students. We asked AA spokesman Ryan Holiday for a response, and here it is:

You remember the last one of these turned out to be an applicant asked to model for the company, was offered the job and the modeling gig but then sent you a fake account of the entire incident where she left all that out? [Ed.: I believe he's giving the official AA interpretation of this.]

American Apparel is a hands on company and everyone from retail associates to the CEO spends time in the stores. It's how we know our business and what our customers want. We'd. Be happy to give this employee their bonus - as we do on a daily basis, including 6 million shares of stock that were just allocated for employee incentives - but they know as well as you do that a college newspaper is not an appropriate place to inquire about it.

Additionally - they are not Dov's apartments. They are leased by the company to save money on hotel rooms in several cities where the company has large store bases.

[Oberlin Review. Pic via]