Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Nike Hit With Lawsuit for ‘Intentionally and Willfully’ Discriminating Against Women

Nike Hit With Lawsuit for ‘Intentionally and Willfully’ Discriminating Against Women

Two former employees filed a lawsuit against the sportswear giant on Thursday alleging that it "intentionally and willfully" discriminated against women with regard to pay and promotions, and that its majority-male executives fostered a hostile work environment at its Portland, Ore., headquarters. "The vast majority of Nike employees live by our values of dignity and respect for others", a spokesperson for the brand said in a statement emailed to Business Insider.

The 40-page court document filed in Nike's home state of OR details the experiences of several senior executives who worked for the sporting goods manufacturer for many years, and are asking other women to join the class action suit.

"Women's career trajectories are blunted because they are marginalized and passed over for promotions".

Meanwhile, Cahill's complaints call out a co-worker by name-former vice president of global brand digital marketing innovation Daniel Tawiah, who left the company in April. "For many women at Nike, the company hierarchy is an unclimbable pyramid". The lawsuit includes allegations of sexual harassment and mistreatment as revenge for rejected advances. When she told her supervisors what happened, they allegedly told her that Nike's corporate culture revolves around alcohol, and that "the rise of the Internet and cell phones have made drunk messages part of this generation, that she should be less sensitive to these messages, and that people should expect [them]".

Johnston also says her starting salary was $2,000 less than a male colleague for the same position.

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The other plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Samantha Phillips and Tracee Cheng.

In March, amid reports of workplace harassment, the company experienced an exodus of top executives, including Nike brand president Trevor Edwards, who was widely considered to be the company's next CEO.

Nike has not issued a statement on the matter. At the time, CEO Mark Parker said Nike was reviewing its human resources practices to prevent future incidents. The plaintiffs, former employees Sara Johnston and Kelly Cahill, say the company's employment policies are hostile to women.

"We, and I, missed something". "And if all of our teammates don't see the same opportunities, we just can't accept that".

Nike also announced pay increases for 7,000 employees last month, in what the company described as an effort to "support a culture in which employees feel included and empowered".

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