News comes out of Portland, Oregon that Nike is being sued by former female employees over sexual discrimination.
The ex-employees, Sara Johnston and Kelly Cahill, are seeking class-action status over the sportswear brand, saying women were “devalued and demeaned” and passed over for promotions or paid lower wages than their male counterparts. The lawsuit continues to claim that the Federal Equal Pay Act and similar laws in Oregon were violated, mostly by executives.
“The ultimate arbiters of these policies or practices are a small group of high-level executives who are majority male,” says the Johnston and Cahill. Specific individuals were not divulged at the time of the report.
Business of Fashion reached out to Nike for comment on the lawsuit but did not receive an immediate response.
In April, The New York Times reported that Nike female employees felt “ignored, harassed and stymied in their careers”, and CNBC revealed Nike also admitted to hiring less female and minority employees. In May, however, two high-level positions have been filled by females: Amy Montagne takes the role of vice president and general manager of global categories, and Kellie Leonard became the chief diversity and inclusion officer.
Stay tuned for more details as the case, known as Cahill v. Nike Inc., 18-cv-1477, U.S. District Court, District of Oregon (Portland), develops.
- Business of Fashion