The sordid details surrounding a long-tenured private arbitration case became available for public scrutiny several weeks ago. The matter centrally pits the mega national jewelry manufacturer and retailer Signet Jewelers Ltd. (the parent company of Sterling Jewelers, which owns mall mainstays Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, respectively) against a stunning 69,000 female plaintiffs alleging pay and promotion discrimination, as well as sexual harassment.
Many of those women claim that sexually harassing behavior against female employees has long been endemic across all company sectors and regions, and at the highest corporate levels.
Readers who would like to peruse relevant information regarding the lawsuit can link here to a recent Washington Post article that reports the matter in depth.
Unsurprisingly, certain investors who have entrusted their money to Signet have taken notice, and in an immediately understandable way.
In fact, Signet's woes have recently intensified and entered a new dimension, with a retirement fund that has invested in the jewelry company claiming that it made materially misleading statements to investors regarding the severity of the sexual allegations. Signet experienced a sharp plummet in its stock price virtually on the heels of the Washington Post story.
The Irving Firemen's Relief & Retirement Fund finds Signet's conduct -- that is, its alleged lack of disclosure -- actionable, and filed a securities fraud class action lawsuit against the company last week.
Signet denies the harassment allegations against it, but the Irving fund is not impressed by the company's defense. The fund's complaint references reports of "rampant sexual assault, implicating senior managers and executives."
The filing states that the complaints forthcoming from ex- and current female employees collectively "paint a nauseating, and stunningly consistent, picture of [the] company."