New York employees may be interested to learn that Sterling Jewelers Inc., a company that operates a number of mall jewelry stores, was accused of fostering a work environment full of sexual discrimination and harassment. Approximately 69,000 current and former female employees of the company are reportedly involved in the class-action arbitration case.
The case included statements from more than 250 female employees who alleged that the culture of harassment began in the 1990s and has continued for the last two decades. The statements also declared that male managers would have “scouting parties” to find female employees that they wanted to sleep with and would offer promotions for sex. The original complaint was actually made in 2008, though the sworn testimony was not released until late February.
The former employees also alleged that anyone who complained was punished. As an example, one former female employee said that she was accused of theft and was then subsequently fired after she reported that her superior had made sexual advances towards her. The company has denied all of the allegations that were made, stating that the reports do not reflect the company’s culture.
In the workplace, sexual harassment can come in the form of unwanted sexual comments, unwanted sexual advances and requests for sexual favors. If an employee reports sexual harassment and is then fired or demoted as punishment, an attorney may assist with filing a lawsuit against the company. The employment attorney may help gather evidence that proves that sexual harassment has been occurring, such as emails, texts or witness testimony. Depending on the case, the employee may seek compensation for lost income and for punitive damages.
Source: Market Watch, “Sterling Jewelers accused of rampant sexual harassment: report“, 02/27/2017