The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission just proved it is more interested in fostering real change than fining large corporations.
Sterling Jewelers just settled the lawsuit filed by the EEOC, alleging it discriminates against its female employees, without admitting to having done anything wrong or paying any money to the class of plaintiffs. Instead, Sterling Jewelers (which owns Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, among others) has agreed to hire an independent employment expert who will review employment and promotion practices within the jewelry company.
But Sterling still has to deal with a separate class-action arbitration case in which female employees of the company are accusing Sterling of regularly paying women less than their male counterparts, overlooking women for promotions and other opportunities for advancement, and fostering a work culture in which sexual harassment was the norm.
Signet (which is Sterling’s parent company) is continuing to fight the arbitration claims and said it has already investigated the allegations of sexual harassment on its own without finding anything to back up the allegations. Continue reading