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28 Feb 2017

Drew Harwell, The Washington Post (USA)

USA: Ex-Sterling Jewelers employees allege sexual harassment & gender discrimination; arbitration judge to hear class action involving 69,000 women

"Hundreds allege sex harassment, discrimination at Kay and Jared jewelry company", 27 Feb 2017

Hundreds of former employees of Sterling Jewelers, the multibillion-dollar conglomerate behind Jared the Galleria of Jewelry and Kay Jewelers, claim that its chief executive and other company leaders presided over a corporate culture that fostered rampant sexual harassment and discrimination, according to arbitration documents...Declarations from roughly 250 women and men...allege that female employees at the company...were routinely groped, demeaned and urged to sexually cater to their bosses to stay employed...The class-action case...now includes 69,000 women who are current and former employees of Sterling...The statements allege that top male managers...dispatched scouting parties to stores to find female employees they wanted to sleep with, laughed about women’s bodies in the workplace, and pushed female subordinates into sex by pledging better jobs, higher pay or protection from punishment...Many are accusing Sterling of wage violations, arguing women were systematically paid less than men and passed over for promotions given to less experienced male colleagues...A class hearing...is scheduled for early next year...The case...was filed before the American Arbitration Association...