May 8, 2017
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Signet Jewelers resolves EEOC case: “no findings of liability or wrongdoing”

May 8, 2017

Case closed. Signet Jewelers announced on Friday that it had reached an agreement to resolve all harassment and discrimination claims against them.

The Signet Jewelers portfolio with retailers Kay, Jared, and others - Photo: Signet Jewelers

Signet had been steeped in litigation for some time, following a class action lawsuit that was filed against them. The company was hit with the class action suit in March for failing to disclose information related to sexual harassment allegations against executives. Signet issued a statement about the harassment allegations saying that it will investigate the allegations of misconduct, and it encourages employees to speak up about workplace concerns.
The class action suit that involved as many as 69,000 women, including women currently employed by Sterling Jewelers, the US jeweler under Signet, was built on an additional lawsuit from 2008. According to Sterling, the 2008 case was about “gender discrimination in pay and promotion” and not sexual harassment.

The agreement between Signet and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says that the company does not have to pay a monetary award since, according to the Consent Decree, there were “no findings of liability or wrongdoing.”
The Decree reads, “EEOC and Sterling have agreed that this action should now be resolved by entry of this Consent Decree, and therefore do hereby stipulate and consent to the entry of this Decree as final and binding on the parties, including Sterling's successors, assigns, subsidiaries, and any other entity with which Sterling may merge or consolidate after the date of this Decree.”
“We are pleased to have resolved this matter with the EEOC,” said Lynn Dennison, Signet Chief Legal, Risk and Corporate Affairs Officer. “Signet has a sound framework of policies and practices designed to ensure equal opportunity for women and we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. The additional steps agreed to as part of the Consent Decree with the EEOC are consistent with our commitment to continuous review and improvement.”
The announcement follows Signet’s recent hiring of former federal judge Barbara S. Jones, who conducted an internal review of the company’s policies and practices.

In addition, Signet formed a new Board Committee focused on programs and policies to promote respect in the workplace.

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