A 2018 Lawsuit Against Nike Has Been Exposed & Revealed Harrowing Sexual Harassment Allegations

nike headquarters oregon, subject of nike lawsuit

A gender discrimination lawsuit against Nike from 2018 has been made public and revealed shocking allegations of misogyny in the company from female staff, including claims they were expected and pressured to have sexual relationships with their bosses.

Documents and correspondences from the lawsuit were released last month after the judge denied it class-action status and decreased the number of plaintiffs from 5,200 to the original 14 people who filed the complaint.

Female staff alleged in the suit that Nike’s Oregon headquarters was a “boys club” where women were subjected to sexual advances and harassment from male executives, The New York Post reported on Wednesday. This included claims that male bosses made suggestive comments about women’s appearances and clothes, hinted at sex in conversations and invited female staff to “work dinners” to try to sleep with them.

The lawsuit claimed some female staffers were called “dyke” and “stupid bitch”. One male executive allegedly sent unsolicited nudes to one woman and slid his hand up the skirt of another — in front of other executives.

One woman said she was told to “dress sexier” and “show some skin” by a male co-worker but she “kept it to [herself] because of who he is at the company”.

Another alleged she was told by a male executive: “Maybe if you dressed nicer I would be on time. Take that baggy jacket off and show some skin.”

One worker claimed executives at Nike’s US office would get “sloppy drunk” during business trips and put their arms around female subordinates.

A worker also alleged she walked in on an executive receiving oral sex from a female subordinate staff member in the office’s gym.

The lawsuit states some frustrated women circulated anonymous surveys around the company in 2018 — when news of Nike’s alleged “frat house” culture first broke — which asked staff about any alleged sex discrimination or harassment they experienced.

One of the responses said Nike was a “giant men’s sports team, where favoritism prevails and females couldn’t possibly play in the sandbox.”

Others slammed the company’s HR department and said they didn’t report alleged instances of discrimination or harassment because they felt it wouldn’t be taken seriously.

“(Employee resources) and HR at this company are a joke,” one woman wrote in the survey.

“Females at this company have felt very little power to change a culture and environment that has been and continues to be disrespectful to women,” another Nike employee wrote.

Mark Parker, the CEO of Nike at the time, was sent the results of the survey in 2018. There were dozens of responses, but only 10 made it to court.

Days after he received them, he apologised to staff in an email and announced a management reshuffle. 11 executives have since left the company.

Nike has since increased the percentage of women who serve as the company’s vice presidents from 36 per cent to 43 per cent.

However, it denied allegations in the lawsuit that women were paid up to $11,000 less than men who worked similar roles. One woman claimed she left after discovering a male colleague earned $20,000 more than her for a similar role.

“Nike opposes discrimination of any type and has a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion,” a Nike spokeswoman said in 2018.

“We are committed to competitive pay and benefits for our employees. The vast majority of Nike employees live by our values of dignity and respect for others.”

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