Insider among publications working to unseal records in Nike sex discrimination lawsuit

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Insider, The Oregonian and the Portland Business Journal on Friday filed a motion to intervene in a sweeping gender discrimination lawsuit against Nike in an effort to unseal more documents in the case.

The trial is proceeding under a protective order, a legal approach that allows lawyers to exchange sensitive information more quickly.

The 14 plaintiffs in the lawsuit want a class of approximately 5,000 certified Nike employees.

“Thousands of current and former Nike employees and their families will be affected by the court’s decision,” Ellen Osoinach, an attorney for the Journalists Committee for Press Freedom, wrote in the motion. “As one of the world’s best-known multinationals, Nike’s employment practices – which are directly at issue in this case – are under close public scrutiny.”

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press represents Insider, The Oregonian and the Portland Business Journal.

The lawsuit, filed in 2018, alleges that female Nike employees are “devalued and belittled”.

“Nike judges women more harshly than men, which means lower salaries, smaller bonuses and fewer stock options,” the plaintiffs alleged in a 2018 lawsuit.

Nike has repeatedly said it has zero tolerance for discrimination and has denied the allegations.

In their petition Friday, Insider, The Oregonian and the Portland Business Journal argued that important information remained sealed, including about 100 attachments to the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.

“(T)he parties have filed numerous class certification documents entirely under seal or with significant redaction, leaving the press and the public with limited access to the underlying facts or arguments and limited benefit in understanding the details of this important legal proceeding,” Osoinach wrote.

Do you work at Nike or have ideas to share? Contact journalist Matthew Kish via the encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-971-319-3830) or email ([email protected]). Check out the Insider source guide for more tips on sharing information securely.

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