March 10, 2017

Facing Class Action Arbitration, Jewelry Giant to Establish Ombuds for Workers

Sterling Jewelers, an American jewelry conglomerate headquartered in Akron, Ohio will create an Ombuds as a partial response to widespread claims of gender discrimination and sexual harassment. A private arbitration case includes claims by 69,000 women that they were subject to abuse and lower pay at Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry stores from the 1990s to 2005. The parent company is planning a range of initiatives to improve workplace fairness.

The Washington Post reported yesterday:
Saying the company had identified “areas where we can further improve,” Stitzer said the board will form a new committee “focused on respect in the workplace,” led by the company’s female directors. It will focus on programs and policies supporting the advancement and development of female employees.
That panel will appoint an independent consultant to review “policies regarding equal opportunity and workplace expectations,” including non-harassment training, harassment reporting and investigation, and policies aimed at combating retaliation from targets of complaints.
The committee, Stitzer said, will also establish an independent ombudsman’s office “to provide confidential advice” to employees, and offer options and strategies to assist them in the resolution of workplace concerns.
No other details about the proposed Ombuds program have been released. (Washington Post.)

1 comment:

  1. Wait... 69,000 complainants?! And I thought my organization was dysfunctional.

    -Every Ombuds