Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Jared The Galleria of Discrimination?

Jared Diamonds may be a girls best friend, but perhaps Jared is not?  You may know them by Jared The Galleria of Jewelry, Kay Jewelers, or JB Robinson but however you know them they are being sued by EEOC for employment discrimination.  Sterling Jewelers, Inc., the largest specialty retail jeweler in this US is being sued by EEOC for allegedly discriminating against female employees in its stores nationwide.  This lawsuit, which was filed on September 23, 2008, is alleging systemic discrimination in violation of Title VII.

In its suit, the EEOC asserts that Sterling Jewelers pays it female retail sales employees less than male employees performing equal work and denies female employees promotional opportunities for which they are qualified.  Sterling Jewelers is alleged to have intentionally discriminated against female employees by maintaining a system for making promotion and compensation decisions that is excessively subjective, and through which Sterling Jewelers has permitted or encouraged managers to deny female employees equal access to promotion opportunities and the same compensation paid to similarly situated male employees.

The EEOC is reporting that they received 24,826 charges alleging sex discrimination, which was up 7%, in fiscal year 2007 to the highest level since fiscal year 2002.  Spencer H Lewis Jr., the EEOC's New York District Director, stated that, "[i]t should be a 'no-brainer' in the 21st century workplace that women deserve pay and promotional opportunities based on merit, not gender.  Employers who fail to grasp and abide by the letter of the law do so at great risk."

If it were really a no-brainer, why are sex discrimination claims up 7%?   

AL

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