Nike's brand nightmare continues with a new lawsuit alleging sex-discrimination against female employees at the Beaverton, Oregon-based sportswear giant. Filed in the U.S District Court of Portland, Oregon on Thursday by four former female staffers, the class-action lawsuit accuses Nike of providing unequal pay, ignoring sexual harassment and fostering a corporate culture where women are devalued and demeaned.
"Nike judges women more harshly than men, which means lower salaries, smaller bonuses, and fewer stock options," the suit alleges. "Women's complaints to human resources about discrimination and harassment, including sexual assault, are ignored or mishandled. Male bad behavior is rarely penalized."
One of the plaintiffs, Kelly Cahill, worked as a marketer for Nike from 2004 to 2017, most recently in a director role. She resigned last year because of "the hostile work environment, HR's ineffective response to her complaints, and the lack of promotion opportunities because of her gender," according to the lawsuit. Cahill claims in 2017 she was paid $20,000 less than a male counterpart on her team performing equal work. The suit notes that Nike is aware of pay disparities as it conducts an annual "pay analysis."