Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands Inc has agreed to settle Ohio and Delaware lawsuits that accused its board of allowing a “culture of harassment,” including by maintaining ties to convicted and now-deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Under the proposed settlement, filed Friday in Ohio federal court, L Brands will invest $90 million to improve sexual harassment and anti-retaliation discipline practices ahead of the planned Aug. 2 separation of its Bath & Body Works Inc and Victoria’s Secret & Co units into separate publicly traded companies.
The agreement with shareholders would also require the company to stop enforcing non-disclosure agreements that prohibit the discussion of a sexual harassment claim’s underlying facts; require mandatory sexual harassment training for employees and board members; and create a diversity, equity and inclusion counsel to regularly assess the new reforms’ effectiveness.
The financial portion of the settlement will be allocated over the course of at least five years, with equal portions contributed by Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret. The company also agreed to pay $21 million in attorney fees for the settling shareholders.
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