Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Confidentiality Breach: American Apparel Hiring Saga Never Ends

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Even though American Apparel head honcho Dov Charney posted his number online and is granting on-the-record interviews to select bloggers, telling them that Gawker's got its facts wrong, Charney won't talk to Gawker editors on the record to refute their reporting. So the two sides have reached an impasse.

In the meantime, it looks like Charney's instituted some sort of confidentiality-agreement-slash-gag-order on new hires. In American Apparel's new "new hire packet," employees are asked to sign an "at will employment confidentiality agreement" (above) that says if they ever talk about any of the bazillion things the document says they're not allowed to talk about, they have to pay $1 million dollars. No, seriously:

In the event that you are contacted by a journalist, a representative of the media or other third party who requests an interview or requests that you disclose or confirm or deny the veracity of any of the Confidential Information, you shall reject said request and/or issue a "no comment" statement, and you shall immediately advise the Company thereof. Further, you agree not to disparage the Company or Mr. Charney in public or online on blogs or any other similar media. Further, you understand and agree that all communications concerning Confidential Information in public, even with fellow employees of the Company, that are or reasonably could be overheard by a third party (e.g., and without limitation, in bars and restaurants) shall be deemed a breach of this Confidentiality Agreement.

In the event of any breach by you (or your agents) of this Confidentiality Agreement, you shall pay as liquidated damages, and not as a penalty, the sum of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) for each such breach, which the parties agree represents reasonable compensation for the harm incurred as a result of such breach.

· American Apparel Confidential: A Million-Dollar Penalty for Whistleblowers [Gawker]
· American Apparel posts Dov Charney's phone number online [Racked]
· More on American Apparel's standards of employee presentation [Racked]
· American Apparel employees can't wear Converse, Keds, or Vans [Racked]