L Brands Agrees to New Policies Tied to Sexual Harassment Claims

L Manufacturers, the proprietor of Victoria’s Secret and Bathtub & Physique Works, will launch present and former staff from nondisclosure agreements tied to sexual harassment claims and take steps to to advertise variety, fairness and inclusion as a part of a settlement with shareholders introduced on Friday.

The corporate, which plans to separate Victoria’s Secret and Bathtub & Physique Works into two public firms subsequent week, mentioned that every model will spend $45 million every within the subsequent 5 years to fund its new insurance policies. Different modifications embrace the institution of a variety, fairness, & inclusion council and an overhaul of inside insurance policies and coaching for sexual harassment and discrimination. The corporate may even exempt claims of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and associated retaliation from obligatory arbitration.

The settlement adopted allegations from shareholders, together with the Oregon Public Staff Retirement Fund, that officers and administrators of L Manufacturers breached their fiduciary duties by fostering a tradition of misogyny on the firm, together with round fashions, and by sustaining ties with Jeffrey Epstein, the intercourse prison who was near Leslie H. Wexner, the previous chief govt of L Manufacturers.

L Manufacturers shaped a particular committee final yr to analyze the allegations. The committee was led by two feminine unbiased board members and concerned a unique regulation agency than the corporate’s typical counsel.

“When our state invests public retirement {dollars} in an organization, we’ve an obligation to ensure our investments are sound — and the board acts in our greatest curiosity,” Ellen F. Rosenblum, Oregon’s lawyer normal, mentioned in a press release. “There was a transparent sample at L Manufacturers of a board that allowed key executives to make use of their energy to advertise a tradition of worry, discrimination, and harassment.”

The decision comes as Victoria’s Secret makes an attempt essentially the most bold model turnaround in current reminiscence. The corporate informed The New York Occasions in June that it was phasing out the Victoria’s Secret Angels and bringing on a brand new cadre of ladies to symbolize the label, together with Megan Rapinoe, the pink-haired soccer star and gender fairness campaigner, and Paloma Elsesser, the biracial mannequin and inclusivity advocate. It’s also planning to replace its product line, make its shops lighter and brighter and finally “cease being about what males need and to be about what ladies need,” in accordance with Martin Waters, the model’s chief govt.

Victoria’s Secret has revamped its govt staff, and girls occupy all however one seat on its new board of administrators.

Mr. Wexner, a retail billionaire who is taken into account the modern-day founding father of Victoria’s Secret, and his spouse, Abigail, departed the L Manufacturers board earlier this yr. The model has come underneath scrutiny since Mr. Wexner’s shut ties to Mr. Epstein got here to gentle in 2019 and a Occasions investigation confirmed that Mr. Wexner and his former chief advertising officer, Ed Razek, presided over an entrenched tradition of misogyny, bullying and harassment.

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