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Combating sexual harassment in the workplace

California residents may not be familiar with the recent controversies surround popular retail clothing store, American Apparel. According to a new document, the company has rewritten its code of ethics as it pertains to issues of sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace. The new procedure intends to reduce discrimination and abuse and was released less than a month after the chief executive officer was fired.

The CEO and founder of American Apparel lost his job after a six-month negotiation between the board of directors and him failed. Among the topics he was questioned for were allegations of sexual harassment and the abuse of corporate funds. The former procedures were not as detailed, but the new 6,200-word policy counters racial slurs and workplace relationships between employers and employees, regardless of whether the relationship is mutually welcomed or not.

While American Apparel is on the headlines at the moment, the fact remains that workplace-related sexual harassment issues have become quite common in the United States. The CEO of the clothing company is one of many who have had a string of lawsuits concerning this issue filed against them. The subject has become a delicate topic that American Apparel intends to clarify and enhance the standards in which management and all employees operate in while at work.

Often, implementing changes when it comes to this issue begins at the top of the company and trickles down to the other levels. Creating a new procedure to combat workplace sexual harassment is only the first step in fixing the problem. Educating employees about how to deal with this issue may be the best method of approach. Employees are often afraid that a loss of their job or a cut back in their hours may be the result of stepping forward and complaining.

Source: The Huffington Post, "American Apparel Now Explicitly Bans Managers From Hitting On Workers," Kim Bhasin, Jan. 7, 2015

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