Nike Sued by Shareholders Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

Nike has been sued by a group of shareholders over sexual harassment allegations which have plagued the company throughout the year. Investors argue the brand has allowed a 'hostile work environment.'

Nike Factory Store Metzingen

Image via Nike

Nike Factory Store Metzingen

Less than a month after being hit with a lawsuit from former employees over gender discrimination allegations, Nike is once again facing legal repercussions from its so-called "boys club" culture.

Three unnamed Nike investors filed suit against the brand Friday in Oregon's Multnomah County, according to Portland Business Journal. In the suit, which was carried out by four law firms, the shareholders argue that the Swoosh has harbored a "hostile work environment that has now harmed, and threatens to further tarnish and impair (Nike's) financial position, as well as its reputation and goodwill."

The lawsuit is said to specifically target Nike co-founder Phil Knight, CEO Mark Parker, and ousted brand president Trevor Edwards, who resigned from the company in March as allegations began to pile up. 

"Stockholders are concerned that the board has allowed rampant sexual harassment and gender discrimination to go on within the company unfettered for as many as 20 years," Gustavo Bruckner of law firm Pomerantz LLP told the publication.

Last month, a group of former employee sued the Nike over allegations of pay disparity and sexual harassment. In response to that suit, the brand issued the following statement: "Nike opposes discrimination of any type and has a long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion. We are committed to competitive pay and benefits for our employees. The vast majority of Nike employees live by our values of dignity and respect for others."

The investors are reportedly calling for a $10 million reimbursement from Nike directors along with at least an additional $10 million from Edwards himself. 

In response to the suit, Nike issued the following statement: "Nike’s Board of Directors strongly dispute the allegations in the complaint, and its members will vigorously defend themselves against these claims. Nike’s Board acted swiftly, responsibly, and decisively to protect the interests of both Nike employees and shareholders."