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Nike ‘Shopping While Black’ Store Now Faces Worker Bias Suit

April 8, 2021, 11:03 PM

The former Nike manager accused of racially profiling Black shoppers in Santa Monica also harassed and discriminated against Black employees in the store, a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles alleges.

Brittney Shaw and Edgar Hernandez, former employees of the southern California location, sued Nike and manager Wendy Magee alleging race discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, among other state-law violations.

Magee created a pervasively hostile and abusive work environment that forced many employees of color to resign, the complaint says. The majority of those employees were replaced by White women, it says.

According to Shaw and Hernandez, employees of color were passed over for promotions in favor of White employees, and Magee consistently disparaged and critiqued Black and Latino employees.

Magee was fired following an incident in which she followed a Black family out of the store and falsely accused them of theft, involving local police, the complaint says. Those shoppers sued the company and Magee. The claims against Magee were dismissed in that case, but the plaintiffs named her in an amended complaint.

Causes of action: Fair Employment and Housing Act; Labor Code; wrongful constructive termination; negligent supervision, California Business and Professions Code.

Relief: Restitution; reinstatement; back pay; punitive damages; compensatory damages; injunctive relief; attorneys’ fees; costs.

Response: Nike didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg Law’s request for comment.

Attorneys: Anfanger Law Office represents the employees.

The case is Shaw v. Nike Retail Servs. Inc., Cal. Super. Ct., No. 21stcv13349, 4/8/21.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maeve Allsup in San Francisco at mallsup@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Peggy Aulino at maulino@bloomberglaw.com

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