Nike sued for sex discrimination by former female employees

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The suit says Cahill ultimately left because she was paid $20,000 less in 2017 than a male colleague doing much the same work.

The suit was filed Thursday in Portland, The Oregonian reports, and is among the first to hit Nike following complaints about alleged pay disparities and bad managers made public earlier this year.

Nike's brand nightmare continues with a new lawsuit alleging sex-discrimination against female employees at the Beaverton, Oregon-based sportswear giant.

The plaintiffs seek unspecified monetary damages, and a court order requiring Nike to pay its employees fairly without regard to gender.

The women are also seeking restatement at Nike and back pay.

Nike said in a statement that the company opposes discrimination and is committed to diversity and inclusion.

"I think Nike wants to say that 'Just a couple people were responsible for the problem and we've gotten rid of them.' But we know that's certainly not the case", Ms Owens said. "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.

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She declined to answer further questions about the suit.

CEO Mark Parker reportedly apologized to the company's employees over how it handled allegations of workplace misconduct.

Nike also announced pay increases for 7,000 employees last month, in what the company described as an effort to "support a culture in which employees feel included and empowered".

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. She resigned previous 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. According to Cahill, Tawiah was known for referring to female employees as "dykes".

The suit was filed by Kelly Cahill, who had worked for Nike for more than three years until July 2017 as a senior producer, and Sara Johnston, a nine-year-plus account service rep. After she refused his advances, the man bullied her.

Johnston alleges that following a Nike party in 2015, she received inappropriate messages from a male colleague, one with whom she had to work with regularly and was key in deciding her performance reviews.

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