Nike Faces a Wage Lawsuit Over Required Uniforms

Nike faces a California labor law wage lawsuit over required uniforms.
The company allegedly made its retail employees purchase Nike clothing from personal savings.
A Nike store employee and California resident Omran Hamid filed the lawsuit on Feb. 17. It alleges the company of unlawfully collecting or receipt of wages as a result of illegal employment terms.

Nike making its employees buy clothing is not the only complaint. Nike also made them pay income tax of about 50% of the uniforms’ retail value, which it failed to compensate.

Moreover, Nike required employees to put on the clothing during work hours as well as to maintain “an up-to-date apparel of each seasons’ product line.”

The lawsuit raises the following complaints as well:

  • failure to provide itemized wage statements, which is a labor law violation
  • failure to specify the amount of paid sick leave or paid time off in lieu of sick leave

“Plaintiffs are manipulated to become walking advertisements of the store exemplifying the athlete image defendants want to portray to their customers at the expense of requiring plaintiffs to bear the cost of the uniforms. Moreover, plaintiffs are minimum wage earners, yet, are required to purchase the uniforms an average of four times a year and on an ongoing basis and pay taxation on their value,” states the complaint.

Furthermore, Hamid claims that paying taxes on Nike clothing decreased their wages below the required state or local minimum during each period when they bought the uniforms.

The class action lawsuit aims to represent both current and former non-exempt Nike employees, who worked in California Nike outlets during the past four years.

Nike filed a response to Hamid’s complaint stating that the lawsuit fails to state a cause of action and that the plaintiff lacks standing. Additionally, Nike states that Hamid failed to comply with required procedures and to act reasonably to reduce damages.

Who and Where

Natalie Mirzayan represents Hamid. While Nike is represented by Michael Afar, Jonathan D. Meer and Sheryl L. Skibbe of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

The case is Omran Hamid v. Nike Retail Services Inc., case number 8:17-cv-00600, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

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Armen Margarian

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