Apr 28, 2019

New York Times dives deep on Sterling Jewelers' sexual misconduct scandal

Felix Salmon, author of Edge

Aïda Amer/Axios

Your must-read this weekend is Taffy Brodesser-Akner's 11,500-word NYT Magazine deep dive into working conditions at Sterling Jewelers.

The big picture: Not only did the company systematically underpay its female workers, it also forced them into well over a decade of arbitration proceedings, with no end in sight. And that's not even mentioning the rampant sexual harassment.

  • Sterling is the umbrella company for most of America's major shopping-mall brands — Kay, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, Osterman, J.B. Robinson, Zales and many others. Those stores were plum employment hopes for women without a college education — until, with depressing predictability, those women were systematically devalued by their male bosses.
  • A company spokesperson emails: “We’re disappointed that The New York Times decided to publish an article primarily based on decades-old allegations, and we believe casts our company unfairly. ... We are undeterred in our ongoing mission to champion diversity and inclusion as a strategic priority.”

Why it matters: Sexual harassment and forced arbitration can appear anywhere, as is evidenced by this week's Bloomberg story about Lee Stowell's experience at Wall Street brokerage Cantor Fitzgerald. Still, the broadest and deepest harm is to women who can't afford expensive lawyers and publicists.

Go deeper: Taffy was my guest on Slate Money this week.

Go deeper

Updates: George Floyd protests enter 12th day

Protesters in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators are rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds have assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make new changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 6,852,810 — Total deaths: 398,211 — Total recoveries — 3,071,142Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,917,080 — Total deaths: 109,702 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.