Jewelry Chain Hit with Discrimination Charges

September 30, 2008 ( - The federal government has sued an Akron, Ohio-based firm, the largest specialty retail jeweler in the country, over allegations it has systematically discriminated against women in hiring and promotions.

A news release from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said the agency has leveled the charges against Sterling Jewelers Inc.

According to the allegations, Sterling Jewelers discriminated against female retail sales employees by allowing or encouraging managers to deny female employees equal access to promotions and the same pay as their male counterparts.

“It should be a ‘no-brainer’ in the 21st century workplace that women deserve pay and promotional opportunities based on merit, not gender,” said EEOC’s New York District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr., in the news release. “Employers who fail to grasp and abide by the letter of the law do so at great risk.”

In the suit, the EEOC seeks monetary relief, an order requiring the company to implement new policies and practices to prevent discrimination, training on anti-discrimination laws, posting of notices at the worksite, and other injunctive relief.