Trans Worker Alleges Nike Wouldn’t Hire Them Over Gender

A trans contract worker alleges that Nike wouldn't hire them over their gender among other claims of workplace discrimination.

Nike World Headquarters Campus

Image via Stocorp

Nike World Headquarters Campus

Despite Nike's strong Q1 earnings report on Tuesday, it's not all good news for the Swoosh this week.

Adding to ongoing claims of workplace harassment and discrimination is a new, unrelated complaint from a transgender contract worker. According to Williamette Week, Jazz Lyles was a contracted software engineer for the brand who identified by the pronouns "they" and "them."

However, Lyles says that early in their tenure, employees began greeting them with "she" and "her." Furthermore, their follow-up requests to co-workers and supervisors were allegedly ignored.

In a complaint, Lyles claims that a female employee once told them "I'm really not sure what to call you. I know I'm not supposed to call you 'shemale,'" in January. 

"I felt invisible and unheard and silenced," Lyles says told the newspaper. "Language has the ability to erase a person completely."

Last month, Lyles says their boss pushed to bring them on as a full-time employee, a request which was denied because the brand said it was in a so-called "hiring freeze." Lyles believes this was another case of discrimination as other contracted employees were allegedly moved to full-time roles around the same time.

Nike did not yet respond to Sole Collector's request for a statement on the matter.