×
Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - In Google Play
VIEW
×
Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - On the App Store
VIEW
Tags: signet | sterling jewelers | kay | jared | gender discrimination

Signet Jewelers Settles Gender Bias Lawsuit for $175M

Signet Jewelers Settles Gender Bias Lawsuit for $175M
A Kay Jewelers retail store in Martinsburg, West Virginia on June 4, 2019. (AP)

Thursday, 09 June 2022 02:32 PM EDT

Signet Jewelers Ltd. on Thursday announced a $175 million settlement of long-running gender bias litigation, resolving claims on behalf of 68,000 female Sterling Jewelers employees that the retailer paid women less and promoted them less often than men.

The settlement averts a Sept. 5 arbitration that would have proceeded on a classwide basis, and subjected Sterling to potential greater liability than if employees pursued individual claims.

Sterling's brands include Kay Jewelers and Jared. The company denied wrongdoing, and Bermuda-based Signet took a $190 million pre-tax charge for the settlement, which requires a private arbitrator's approval.

Signet on Thursday also reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, and authorized an additional $500 million of share repurchases. Its stock price rose as much as 12.1%

Though the settlement focused on pay and promotions from around 2004 to 2018, mainly for sales associates, the case drew greater attention after some female Sterling employees submitted sworn statements that they had been sexually harassed.

The jewelry industry "is more accessible to women than many, but not always as hospitable," Joseph Sellers, a lawyer for the women from Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, said in an interview.

He said the settlement "could have a ripple effect on other companies by calling attention to the problems these women confronted, and the proper response that Sterling developed. We applaud the company for turning a corner."

Signet Chief Executive Gina Drosos said on a conference call the accord lets Signet focus on having an "inclusive and highly engaged culture" while ensuring pay equity and diversity.

Sterling was originally sued in 2008, and accused of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the federal Equal Pay Act.

Sellers said Sterling had used irrelevant factors when hiring, giving rise to the phrase "they start low and they stay low" as pay disparities between men and women persisted over time, and had a promotion process "riddled with exceptions."

But Signet said it has dismantled such practices, and Sellers said he has seen "no evidence" of sexual misconduct in recent years.

About $125 million from the settlement would go to class members, with the rest covering legal fees and costs.

In 2020, Signet reached a $240 million settlement of shareholder claims it concealed sexual harassment allegations against senior executives.

© 2022 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


StreetTalk
Signet Jewelers Ltd. on Thursday announced a $175 million settlement of long-running gender bias litigation, resolving claims on behalf of 68,000 female Sterling Jewelers employees that the retailer paid women less and promoted them less often than men.
signet, sterling jewelers, kay, jared, gender discrimination
379
2022-32-09
Thursday, 09 June 2022 02:32 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
Get Newsmax Text Alerts
TOP

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved