California jewelry company in employment dispute

Sterling, a nationally recognized jeweler, is facing a number of legal woes. Employees have filed complaints with allegations of sexual discrimination. The lawsuit may end up having over 40,000 women in California and throughout the country involved in the employment dispute.

Sterling Jewelers is the owner of Jared and Kay along with the Galleria of Jewelry. Allegedly, 12 women joined together to file suit after being repeatedly sexually harassed and denied promotions. In addition, the female employees were paid approximately $1.50 less than their male colleagues. These incidents did not just occur recently and employees have been subjected to this environment since the early 2000's. Reportedly, this lawsuit could be the prerequisite to class actions involving over 40,000 other women.

An incident in particular involved one of the female employees that just landed a huge sale. A manager informed her that he would reward her achievement if she sat on his lap. In another incident, a male colleague was promoted in spite of a sexual harassment complaint against him. According to the civil rights division, Sterling was aware of the repeated acts of sexual harassment at the workplace.

When a company participates in any type of sexual harassment, it can lead to an employment dispute. This is especially true when employees receive less than those of the opposite gender. In this case, the court may find in favor of the plaintiffs if evidence proves the company sexually harassed any employees or knew about the harassment. California workers who have been treated unfairly at the workplace due to sexual discrimination could choose to pursue employment discrimination claims against the employer.

Source: gawker.com, "Massive Jewelry Company Faces Massive Discrimination Lawsuit", Gabrielle Bluestone, March 30, 2014

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