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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. (In an interview with The Times in 2008, Charney said he thought the conversations were “two people having a private time.”) 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 Charney as president and CEO, citing allegations of improper behavior and misuse of company funds. By the end of the year, Charney was officially fired.

That was then. In today’s post-Harvey Weinstein era, employers are taking days, rather than months, to deal with accusations of sexual misconduct.

She said she’s seen no variation from that script so far, but acknowledges that Weinstein “completely changed the conversation.”

“For someone to be accused on Monday and fired on Wednesday, that’s unheard of in a pre-Harvey Weinstein world,” Vinick said. “You just never saw that speed of action before.”

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