- Best friend turns on 'good old boy' accused lottery scammer
- How major US stock market indexes fared on Thursday
- The Latest: Judge to rule later on Trump University case
- Emotional Chinese win world pairs figure skating gold
- Manchester City Women into Champions League semi-finals
- Rapper ‘Big Flock’ Given Federal Prison Sentence For Gun, Drug Charges
- ACMs Announce Even More Performers, Presenters And Collaborations
- Police Release Sketch Of Sexual Assault Suspect
- Community Remembers 19-Year-Old Design Student Lost To Gun Violence
- Anti-Transgender Bus Sparks Protests As It Visits US Cities
More from Business
WASHINGTON (AP) — Shares of Signet Jewelers fell sharply Tuesday after a report of widespread sexual harassment and discrimination at a subsidiary.
The Washington Post first reported the allegations Monday, based on newly released class-action arbitration filings.
According to the report, Sterling Jewelers discriminated against female employees, paying them less than their male counterparts for the same work and promoting them less frequently. About 250 female employees also testified in the arbitration filings that male managers and executives engaged in rampant sexual harassment for years.
Sterling, based in Akron, Ohio, denied the allegations Tuesday and called media reports "distorted and inaccurate."
Kalpana Kotagal, a lawyer for the female employees, said it is a pay and promotion discrimination case. The women's testimony of sexual harassment by male superiors shows that there was an open and intentionally hostile culture toward female employees at Sterling and its subsidiaries, she said.
A private arbitrator ruled that about 69,000 current and former female sales associates of mall jewelry stores Kay and Jared, which are owned by Sterling, can sue for discrimination and back wages.
Lawyers for the women expect the case, originally brought in 2008, to go to trial this fall.
Shares of Signet fell $9.29, or almost 13 percent, to close at $63.59, a level not seen in four years.