Offbeat Former female employees sue Nike over alleged discrimination

22:05  10 august  2018
22:05  10 august  2018 Source:   bloomberg.com

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A group of former female employees at Nike Inc. are suing the company over allegations that it "intentionally and willfully discriminated against [women] with respect to pay, promotions, and conditions of employment ," according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Portland.

Claiming a culture of sexual harassment and gender bias at Nike that left women demeaned and underpaid, two former employees sued the sports apparel company late Thursday, demanding more equitable policies.

Nike is being sued for sexual discrimination by former female employees who say women were "devalued and demeaned" by the company, where they are passed over for promotions, paid less than their male counterparts and ignored when they complain.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court in Portland, Ore., seeks class-action status and accuses the maker of athletic footwear and apparel of violating the Federal Equal Pay Act and similar state laws. The plaintiffs, former employees Sara Johnston and Kelly Cahill, say the company’s employment policies are hostile to women.

"The ultimate arbiters of these policies or practices are a small group of high-level executives who are majority male," the former employees say in the complaint.

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Nike has been hit with a discrimination lawsuit that alleges it pays and promotes women less than their male peers, the latest accusations to rock the sneaker giant. Nike has been hit with a gender discrimination lawsuit by two former female employees .

Nike, based in Beaverton, Ore., said the company "opposes discrimination of any type and has a long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion."

"We are committed to competitive pay and benefits for our employees," the company said in a statement. "The vast majority of Nike employees live by our values of dignity and respect for others."

Nike shares have gained 37 percent in the past year. The stock surged in late June, reaching a record high at the time, after North American sales rose for the first time in four quarters, signaling that Nike’s new products are catching on with U.S. shoppers. The company has been promising investors that slowing growth and revenue declines in its largest market were only a short-term trend.

The case is Cahill v. Nike Inc., 18-cv-1477, U.S. District Court, District of Oregon (Portland).

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