Monday, 20 August, 2018

Four women sue Nike for violating equal pay acts

Mewsmakers Mewsmakers
Russell Knight | 12 August, 2018, 17:32

The latest lawsuit involves a group of women complaining of gender discrimination and pay disparity during their tenure.

A statement says Nike opposes discrimination in any form.

She again tried to lodge a complaint with human resources but the department took no action and the male co-worker was promoted to a position where he would work more closely with Johnston, who chose to quit, according to the suit.

"Women came into the company paid less than men, then they are ranked more harshly and, as a result, got smaller raises and bonuses", attorney Laura Salerno Owens told the Oregonian, which first reported the lawsuit.

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The women want the court to order Nike to institute policies that provide equal opportunity for employees regardless of gender, and to "eradicate the effects of their past and present unlawful employment practices". Following an outcry from female employees, Nike announced Edwards would be departing from the company and later fired 11 other executives. Both described a work environment prone to issues of harassment, similar to the allegations Nike has had to address in the past several months.

Former brand analyst Sara Johnston and producer and director Kelly Cahill are leading the suit, which echoes numerous complaints voiced in recent months regarding lack of promotions and positions of power among women at the Swoosh. "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. CEO Mark Parker said at the time that he was upset to find corporate bullying within the company. Three marketers, such as Simon Pestridge, global VP of marketing for performance categories, and Tommy Kain, director of sports marketing, also left Nike, as did Daniel Tawiah, who had been VP of global digital brand innovation.

Specifically, Johnston says she resigned after discovering she was paid less and was offered fewer promotions than her male colleagues who performed comparable work.

Cahill also alleges that a former vice president at Nike referred to women by derogatory names and singled out a female employee for harsh criticism, yelling at her in public repeatedly. The Wall Street Journal reported he was forced to leave Nike in April. Upon rejecting her co-worker's advances, Johnston claims he treated her negatively. She alleges she was denied a higher rating in her annual review in retaliation for her complaints about sexual harassment. Her superiors did not allow her to move positions to avoid her harasser, the lawsuit said. She alleges she had more relevant work experience and better credentials than he did and helped train him in the job.

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