Verdicts & Settlements

Nike Settles Bias Case

Posted Jul 31, 2007 11:17 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Nike Inc. has agreed to pay $7.6 million and appoint a diversity consultant at its flagship Chicago store to settle a race discrimination lawsuit.

A federal judge approved class-action status for the suit last year and expanded the class to include about 400 present and former African-American employees, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The suit claimed Nike discriminated against black employees by pushing them into lower paying jobs in the stock room and behind cash registers, denying advancement opportunities, and searching them when they left the store. It also claimed managers used racial slurs to refer to black employees and customers, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports.

The store, which did not admit the allegations, agreed to “a host of changes to address diversity,” according to the Journal. The Michigan Avenue store will be monitored by a diversity consultant, an ombudsman there will handle complaints, and all supervisors will be trained in diversity.

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