NYT Publishes Accounts Of Sexual Harassment At Signet Jewelers; Company Says Story Unfair

Roughly two years after a Washington Post expose on a culture of sexual harassment at Signet Jewelers SIG subsidiary Sterling Jewelers, the New York Times published an in-depth article Tuesday featuring several of the alleged victims who were employees of the company.

In 2008, 69,000 current and former Signet employees filed a class action sexual harassment lawsuit against the retailer that went into arbitration. In 2017, the Washington Post reported on 1,300 pages of sworn testimony that was publicly released for the first time.

In addition to Sterling, Signet’s subsidiaries include jewelry brands such as Kay Jewelers, Zales and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry. Among the allegations included in the lawsuit are accusations of sexual misconduct, gender bias and wage discrimination.

Signet has been struggling in recent years to manage a major transition in the retail shopping industry away from traditional shopping malls and toward online sales. In addition to battling an increasingly dated business model, Signet is fighting to preserve the value of its brand amid accusations of a sexist corporate culture.

The New York Times story features stories from several former employees.

Signet told Benzinga the accounts in the new article are "primarily based on decades-old allegations" and unfairly represent the company today.

“Signet is a recognized leader among companies for gender diversity, with women making up 74% of store management positions and full gender parity in both the C-Suite and Board of Directors. Under the leadership of our CEO Gina Drosos, we are undeterred in our ongoing mission to champion diversity and inclusion as a strategic priority and in our multi-year business transformation plan,” the company said. 

Signet shares are down significantly since the first sexual harassment story broke in 2017, but the stock was up 3.92 percent at the time of publication Tuesday. 

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Photo by M.O. Stevens via Wikimedia

Posted In: Kay JewelersNew York TimesSterling JewelersThe Washington PostzalesNewsExclusivesMedia