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Nine West Settles Origin Bias Suit

White Plains, N.Y.-based Nine West Footwear Corp. and Pennsylvania-based Jones Apparel Group Inc. reached a $600,000 settlement with the EEOC May 22, ending a 2004 suit accusing the shoe companies of sexual harassment, national origin discrimination and retaliation.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in 2004, the lawsuit alleged the footwear retailer and its parent company subjected female employees to unwelcome sexual advances, groping and insulting remarks about their Hispanic origin.

"The discriminatory practices at Nine West and Jones Apparel had a severe impact on the affected employees," said EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Robert D. Rose in a statement.

In addition to the monetary settlement, Nine West and Jones Apparel agreed to amend and re-issue their non-discrimination policy, train employees and managers on equal employment law and provide periodic reports to the EEOC regarding any future discrimination complaints.

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