Nike Executives Accused Of Sexual Harassment In Unsealed Lawsuit –

December 21, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja

Nike has been hit with a gender discrimination lawsuit. In it, the footwear and apparel giant is accused of fostering a toxic work environment that enabled sexual harassment of female coworkers and subordinates at the hands of its male executives.

The recently unsealed suit, filed in 2018 in the U.S. District Court in Oregon, described the brand’s headquarters as a “boys club” that was rife with sexual advances, sexually suggestive comments about their clothes and body, and other predatory behavior.

The incidents listed in the civil complaint include a woman discovering a female employee giving oral sex to a male superior in the campus gym, male executives getting intoxicated and inappropriately touching female employees, and women employees being advised to “dress sexier” and “show some skin.”

Orange Nike

The “Swoosh” logo is seen on a Nike factory store on December 12, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. Tiger Woods announced that he will take an indefinite break from professional golf to concentrate on repairing family relations after admitting to infidelity in his marriage. The company issued a statement that “Woods and his family have Nike’s full support.”

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According to the suit, many female employees were hesitant to report these occurrences out of fear of inaction by Nike’s human resources department and the offenders’ high-ranking positions in the company.

The unsealed documents in the civil suit include testimony from Nike employees, executive emails, speech crafts, and legal correspondence. A judge ruled against the suit being given class-action status, instead constricting the number of plaintiffs to the 14 people who initially filed the complaint.

Upon receiving completed surveys conducted by several female employees detailing the harassment, Nike executive chairman Mark Parker, who was CEO of the brand at the time, announced an immediate upheaval of the management team. Shortly after, 11 executives departed from the company and Nike emphasized an increased focus on including and empowering women in the brand’s management structure.

Nike Executive Chairman Mark Parker

Mark Parker, President and CEO of NIKE, Inc. attends the Clinton Global Initiative Latin America meeting at the Copacabana Palace Hotel on December 9, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meetings bring together political and business leaders and this is the first time the event is being held in Latin America.

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“Over the past few weeks, we’ve become aware of reports occurring within our organization that do not reflect our core values of inclusivity, respect, and empowerment,” Parker wrote at the time.

Since the filing of the suit, Nike has increased the number of female vice presidents within the company from 36% to 43%.