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National Labor Relations Board Dismisses Complaints Against American Apparel

It's a point for American Apparel, at least for now.
An American Apparel store. Photo: Andrew Burton

An American Apparel store. Photo: Andrew Burton

Over the last month, the executive team at American Apparel has been embroiled in a war with its ousted founder, Dov Charney, as Charney seeks a way to take back control of the company. Late April saw a host of lawsuits against AA from former employees. Their claims? They weren't given sufficient notice of layoffs; the ex-CFO schemed to get Charney fired; and that board members withheld crucial information from shareholders. Documents emerged alleging that Charney had called employees "sluts" and "pigs" during his time as CEO. Last week, Charney sued for defamation, and American Apparel sued him right back for violating an agreement he signed upon stepping down. 

So if you're just now tuning in, that's where we are. 

As of Tuesday, at least five labor complaints filed against the company have been dismissed by the National Labor Relations Board based on "lack of cooperation by the Charging Party." The charges were filed by the attorneys Sarah Hernandez and Keith Fink of Fink & Steinberg; Fink also represents Charney. 

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Meaning, Team Dov has hit a snag in their plan. While this is a good thing for American Apparel's PR game, the filing parties can appeal by May 29. Our guess is they will.

Update: Indeed, Fink says that four of those complaints will be re-filed as early as Tuesday. 

"The NLRB meets with witnesses and the claimants. If someone cannot make a meeting because of illness or work issues the matter is dismissed. However, the matter can be re-filed within six months. Recently some matters were dismissed based on the complainant being UNABLE to go to the NLRB because of work and family issues," Fink wrote in an e-mail to Fashionista.

"AA is attempting to dupe and mislead the media and public by leaking the 'dismissals,'" he added. "What they leave out is not a single one was dismissed on the merits."

A spokesperson for American Apparel, meanwhile, provided the following statement.

"Dov Charney, Dov Charney's lawyer and other people related to Dov Charney continue to bring claims that are wrong on the facts and wrong on the law. Each of these claims is rooted in the same exact agenda. These meritless claims serve as public relations opportunities now, but they will each fail the test when put before a judge. American Apparel's new management is focused on restoring the financial health of the company and does not intend to waste time addressing each of these meritless claims in the court of public opinion. We are confident we will succeed on every one of these in the proper venue.”