On Monday, November 5th, Nike Inc. filed a motion to have parts of an overwhelming lawsuit alleging gender and pay discrimination dismissed.
Lawyers initially filed the lawsuit itself in August for four former Nike Inc. employees. The lawsuit made big claims, stating that Nike judged women harshly, and provided them with lower salaries, inadequate bonuses, and fewer stock options than they did for men. It also made claims that any complaint made to human resources by a woman that pertained to discrimination, harassment (including sexual assault), were mishandled or flat out ignored. Since August, the class-action suit has now grown to include seven plaintiffs instead of four, and Nike Inc. has been described as a “boy’s club” by the public.
Nike now claims that the lawsuit’s definition of the class is too broad, and lacks any real facts. In the public motion, Nike stated that the plaintiffs hadn’t alleged anything factual that makes the claims plausible, and therefore it causes both Nike and the court system a considerable burden and expense, and also blemishes their reputation.
There are four claims in the lawsuit, and only three were asked to be dismissed. Nike presented a case that said the theories are inconsistent, and salary comparisons were made to men in other positions with other responsibilities. Nike Inc. has requested the judge dismiss the Violations of the Federal Equal Pay Act, the Intentional Discrimination of the Oregon Equality Act, and the Oregon Equal Pay Act. While Nike has denied disparate impact violations of the Oregon Equality Act, they didn’t ask for it to get dismissed.
Lawyers representing the seven plaintiffs have stated that Nike didn’t move to dismiss any claims that their practices have resulted in the lower pay and fewer promotions for women in their workplace. They also stated that regardless of the court’s ruling of Nike’s motion, the women are brave and are going to continue to push for merit-based salaries and promotions.
Representatives for Nike or their lawyers have yet to comment.