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Former Nike workers allege gender discrimination in lawsuit

Women workers at some of the most high-profile companies in Texas and across the country may face the same problems with gender discrimination as those in warehouses, on factory floors or in small business offices. One lawsuit filed by women who formerly worked at Nike draws attention to the issue of workplace discrimination at a company that is famed for its image of supporting strong women athletes. The complaint, filed in August in federal court, charges the athletic gear manufacturer with creating a hostile environment for women on the job.

The lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status approval, alleges that women at Nike are systematically passed over for promotions and pay hikes. In addition, the suit also charges that Nike's performance reviews judge women employees more harshly than men, resulting in fewer bonuses, lower salaries and smaller stock options. The women filing the case also say that women who complained to human resources saw their complaints ignored, dismissed or denied. They charge that they lost out on significant amounts of pay over the years as a result of workplace discrimination.

The issues with gender discrimination at Nike were brought into the spotlight in March when a group of current employees brought the results of surveys of female workers to the CEO. They complained of unfair pay, denied promotions and other issues. As a result of the exposure, 11 executives were terminated, and 7,000 workers at the company received raises after an internal review of pay practices for gender disparities. The president of the company resigned, and the CEO apologized.

Women who face workplace discrimination may suffer long-term career consequences, including significant amounts of lost wages as well as lost promotions and opportunities. An employment lawyer may work with victims of discrimination to file complaints and take action to seek justice and compensation.

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