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National Jewelry Store Chains Are Facing Uber-Sized Problems

The Washington Post recently published an article discussing the private class-action arbitration case, Jock et al. v. Sterling Jewelers Inc.  The case was filed against Sterling Jewelers, the corporate parent of Jared the Galleria of Jewelers and Kay Jewelers alleging a systemic, inculcated culture of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and gender-based wage inequity.

One of the issues we identified in this article was the failure of an effective internal reporting mechanism at the company.  Two former employees interviewed for The Washington Post’s article stated that they were terminated for reporting sexual misconduct.  One of the women claimed that she was accused of theft and fired after using the company’s employee hotline to report the misconduct.  The Washington Post article is a great follow-up to our recent post on the importance of a healthy reporting culture, including the incendiary allegations against Uber, which you can see here

The court documents obtained by The Washington Post include salacious allegations of sex parties, quid pro quo career advancement in exchange for sexual favors, and a general “culture of sexism and womanizing.”

For its part, Sterling Jewelers and its parent company, Signet Jewelers, deny the allegations of gender discrimination and sexism and underscored its point by claiming that over 68% of its current store managers are women.  Per the court documents obtained by The Washington Post, Sterling officials presented experts that claimed that the company “devotes adequate resources to manage complaints of unwanted sex-related behavior.”

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

Workplace FactFinders can help you get this right. For more information about our services, including internal investigations, policy and procedure consulting and auditing, employee hotlines, and our Informed Resolutions® process, please contact Cynthia Fenton or Stephanie Woodhead at (844) 321-9733 or email us at info@workplacefactfinders.com

The information contained in this article is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.  Employers should consult their attorney for legal advice.

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Look for our upcoming book, Company Confidential: The Secrets to Effectively Resolving Internal Conflict

 

Cynthia Fenton