Earlier this year, a former employee of a Nike store in San Clemente, California, filed a legal complaint against the company, alleging a number of labor law violations. In the weeks since, the scope of the case has quickly expanded; Nike now faces a class action suit that could include all current and former nonexempt employees who worked in California-based Nike retail stores in the last four years.
Were employees making less than minimum wage?
The legal proceedings began in February, when a former worker noted that Nike failed to provide itemized wage statements and did not adequately inform employees about their sick leave policy.
Yet the lawsuit has come to center around the issue of employee uniforms. Namely, the plaintiffs claim that store employees were required to buy new uniforms roughly four times a year, so that the clothes they wore to work reflected Nike's most up-to-date retail offerings.
Many of the affected employees were making minimum wage; factoring in uniform costs means that they were, in effect, making less than minimum wage, putting Nike in violation of state and federal labor laws.
What's Nike's stance?
Nike, for its part, claims that the former employee has no standing to sue, and that there are no causes of action for the class action suit. No doubt, the company's attorneys are busy trying to find means to defend the firm - and its bottom line.
Affected workers, meanwhile, ought to consult with a lawyer so that they can understand their rights, whether they have standing to join the lawsuit, and what the likely outcomes may be.