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Transgender Contractor Sues Nike, Citing Personal Pronoun Abuses

Transgender Contractor Sues Nike, Citing Personal Pronoun Abuses

“Employers like Nike have a responsibility to present a safe workplace and ensure that employees respect their coworkers’ gender pronouns”

A transgender now-former contractor with Nike is suing the footwear and sportswear apparel giant for allegedly allowing harassment in the form of personal pronoun abuses.  The lawsuit seeks over $1 million in damages.

CBS News reports:

A transgender former Nike contractor is seeking $1.1 million in damages from the sporting goods giant for allegedly allowing gender identity-based harassment.

According to a civil lawsuit filed this week, Nike and Mainz Brady Group, a staffing firm that hired workers for Nike, discriminated against computer engineer Jazz Lyles, who identifies as transmasculine and prefers the pronouns they/them/their. The complaint was filed with Multnomah Circuit Court in Oregon.

During Lyles’ tenure at Nike — from May 2017 to September 2018 — the engineer was repeatedly “misgendered” by coworkers, the complaint said. While Lyles notified management about the issue multiple times, the companies allegedly failed to implement any policies, procedures and trainings around the use of gender pronouns in the workplace.

Lyles, according to the Willamette Week, “identifies as transmasculine/nonbinary. That means Lyles was assigned the female gender at birth but identifies with masculinity and as a nonbinary person.”

According to Nike, the Willamette Week continues, “‘Lyles was a mediocre [contractor] with a limited skill set,’ Stoel Rives wrote, noting that a hiring freeze, not discrimination,” was the reason Lyles was not hired to a full-time job with Nike.

CBS News has more on the complaint:

“When someone refuses to acknowledge a person’s gender identity or insists on referring to them by a gender to which they do not identify (called misgendering), this causes real and significant harm,” read the complaint. “This is particularly true when a person is misgendered repeatedly on a daily basis.”

. . . . Nike allegedly fostered a “boys-club ‘jock mentality'” work culture that was hostile to people who do not fit gender stereotypes, which the complaint said is contrary to the progressive reputation the sporting goods company enjoys with the public. In its “Be True” campaign, Nike hired transgender athletes to promote athletic wear like hoodies and sneakers.

The suit alleged that placing the burden on Lyles to educate colleagues about gender identity caused tension between the engineer and coworkers, who allegedly called Lyles “stupid” and “unstable.” One colleague allegedly said, “I know I’m not supposed to call you ‘she-male.'” Another coworker allegedly chose not to interact with the plaintiff. Still another colleague allegedly said she would not use Lyles’ gender pronouns for religious reasons.

. . . . reports to the companies allegedly resulted in retaliation against Lyles, who was told they could ask for reassignment at the expense of their career or see their work further impeded by coworkers, the complaint said. On one occasion, Lyles was removed three times by a colleague from a Slack channel the engineer required to complete certain work, the complaint said.

On another occasion, after several reports to Nike, the company held a training on proper gender pronouns for Lyles and their coworkers. But the complaint alleged that the training — conducted for the plaintiff’s immediate teammates and not the entire department — was untimely, singled out Lyles and exacerbated their relationship to the team.

. . . . “Employers like Nike have a responsibility to present a safe workplace and ensure that employees respect their coworkers’ gender pronouns,” Shenoa Payne, the plaintiff’s attorney, told CBS News.

For its part, Nike has largely declined to comment.

Nike declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said the company “is committed to a culture of diversity, inclusion and respect where everyone can succeed and realize their full potential.”

It will be interesting to see what happens with this case as campus culture continues to seep into—and clash with—the real world.

[Featured image via YouTube]


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Paul In Sweden | December 22, 2019 at 6:18 pm

“Stupid” seemed like a reasonable compromise offered by the one co-worker. Anyone asking me to use “they” will be referred to as fruitcake or NutJob. i.e. Hey NutJob, stop goofing off and get to work!

H.R. Pufnstuf
Who’s your friend when things get rough?
H.R. Pufnstuf
Can’t do a little ’cause he can’t do enough

Trans/neo. Hey, Nike. Kneel. Good boy.

The Friendly Grizzly | December 22, 2019 at 6:30 pm

Do your job or clean out your desk.

I self-identify as royalty, and insist upon being addressed as “Majesty”, “Highness”, and “My Liege”. Personal acquaintances, after receiving my written permission, may refer to me as “Truffles”.

    Someone may, one day, ask me what my pronouns are and, like DouglasJBender, I have prepared an answer for myself. I have identified a pronoun set that clearly describes the underlying psychology of virtually all persons who might ask me such a question — or volunteer their own pronouns even though I have NO desire to know. In fact, my pronoun set can apply to a broad range of people, from (A) traditional straights all the way through the list to (Z) God-knows-what-they-are.

    Now my pronoun set does require one to abandon traditional rules of grammar, but that’s a valuable feature. Anyone who can turn “they” into a singular can certainly manage a workaround for my pronouns. Besides, people who insist on using traditional grammar all want to own slaves or something, and my pronouns allow users to smash these white-folks rules to smithereens and therefore prove their wokeness.

    I hereby declare my pronouns and propose them as a universal set that anyone should be able use to escape the condemnation of woke-scolds: me, myself, and I.

Pronouns, like prepositions, are a closed-class set. New ones are not discovered and added.

    Under the Twilight faith, Pro-Choice religion, and liberal ideology, anything is possible. Of note, is their sincere belief in spontaneous conception… of human life, of pronouns, too.

This is so foolish, but I’m glad a left-wing company like Nike is being charged.

Perfect demonstration of why I have zero patience with either the transgender or pronoun bullshit.

They tried to get in the door by whining about ‘respect’, and how it was ‘civil’ to use the correct pronouns.

Now it’s turned into ‘use the correct one or we’re going to sue you and try to send you to jail’.

They don’t want respect. They want power.

    Milhouse in reply to Olinser. | December 22, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    It is civil to address someone as they would like to be addressed. It is civil to humor people’s harmless delusions. But the requirement for civility goes both ways. It is not civil to compel people to humor one’s delusions, or to throw a tantrum when they don’t, let alone to try to get them fired for such failure.

      DaveGinOly in reply to Milhouse. | December 23, 2019 at 12:47 am

      If it were merely a delusion, that would be great. (However the proponents of the use of alternate pronouns would argue vigorously that it’s not delusional.) But it’s not. It’s both a delusion and an attempt to enforce and promote a political agenda (progressive, post-modernist, neo-Marxism). Orwell said that if you can control the language, you can control the political dialog. (E.g., “gun control” becomes “gun safety,” anything conservative becomes “hate speech”).

      If I run up against this at work I will claim to be the harassed party, being harassed to support (or for my failure to support) a political agenda that I find offensive.

      Paul In Sweden in reply to Milhouse. | December 23, 2019 at 4:42 am

      It is unproductive and can possibly be dangerous to indulge the delusions of those that are mentally unstable. I am not certain that many of the unintended consequences are unintended at all. Why is deviant sexual behavior being normalized and why are children as young as preschoolers being exposed?

      Why are Drag Queens being pushed into libraries in front of little kids?

      What good came out of the detailed ‘Fisting’ instructions to Massachusetts students as young as Junior High?

      Yes, being civil to someone that is civil and not tyrannically oppressive toward yourself is a good thing. Being fined and/or jailed because you failed to achieve the nebulous and fluid expectations of fruitcakes is never a good situation.

Another reason to keep Spanish speakers or any other speakers of any other languages that use gendered nouns. Stop them at the border. Do not let them come to this country and do not let them insult and threaten our Non-Binary-American brothers (who are our sisters) or sisters (who are our brothers).

“…assigned the female gender at birth but identifies with masculinity and as a nonbinary person.”

I don’t even know what that means, nor do I want to know, so I’ll just leave it ‘go seek mental health couseling before you attempt your inevitable suicide.’ Good grief.

As for Nike, sukk it. You’re near the spearhead of this progressive dumpster fire.

The crazy suing the crazy.

Gotta love it.

«Lyles, according to the Willamette Week, “identifies as transmasculine/nonbinary. That means Lyles was assigned the female gender at birth but identifies with masculinity and as a nonbinary person.”»

  Or, to put this into terms that a sane person can understand…

  Lyles is batsh•• crazy, and demands that everyone else share in h’orsh’/it’s madness.

People like this, if this person truly is a “they,” have usually experienced neglect/abuse/molestation/penetration as a child, usually as a young child.

Children will compartmentalize their traumatic experiences in order to function, into separate “personalities.” This way, they can switch from one personality that knows of the trauma to one that doesn’t, so they can function without thinking of the trauma, sealing it off.

Eliana Gil’s book on multiple personalities is a super primer on it. She has a website too which I didn’t know until the other day.

Richard Gartner’s book is helpful too. “Beyond Betrayal: Life after boyhood sexual abuse.”

An interesting and to me even more troubling thing about transsexuals and other multiples (you probably know multiples and don’t know it, because usually they DON’T want you to know), is that each person’s specific circumstances and extent of trauma is different, therefore you can’t generalize triggers for the most part. Also, a person’s life circumstances aside from the trauma make a marked difference.

I write this because it’s important to understand – from a policy standpoint – that you can’t generalize and say all transsexuals are functional, because they vary so tremendously.

As far as this crap about forcing different pronouns on innocent bystanders, it’s crap. Until transsexuals begin telling the truth about why they are the way they are, bystanders are going to continue to be bullied simply because we’re sold this swill that using their pronouns makes us “inclusive.” No, it doesn’t. It makes us participate in a mentally challenged person’s uncorrected misunderstanding of themselves.

I say mentally challenged because this is an adaptation to trauma which simply persists after the trauma is over. Of course, it also frequently persists because the trauma itself causes unexpected feelings which the person finds they want to repeat… Kind of Stockholm Syndrome crossed with a different kind of buzz.

It’s a damn mess, and I don’t blame the traumatized for not wanting to discuss the source of their pain and dysfunction, but damn, leave the rest of us alone! Go find a therapist.

    Charles Martel in reply to Close The Fed. | December 22, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    So, it sounds like you are saying they are mentally ill.

      “Mentally ill” is a broad term. It can include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors.

      And yes, it can include someone REALLY screwed up in their childhood, whereby even though they’re born one gender they want desperately to believe – and act like – they’re another.

      What’s so puzzling?

      Close The Fed in reply to Charles Martel. | December 23, 2019 at 9:46 am

      Charles, I choose the term “challenged” because I wouldn’t call it something that is caused by a disease or dna…

      So, they’ve had traumatic experiences, and the experience causes mental challenges or maybe we could call it a mental injury.

      You can to an extent call it a mental adaptation, which is adapted to survive the traumatic circumstances as they are going on, which for some can be a short period of time or a very extended period of time.

      And they again exist on a spectrum. So yes, some I would say are so damaged they are functionally mentally ill or of arrested development, others are able to function somewhat normally and at least present themselves pretty normally.

      Alters tend to be of the age when the abuse occurred. So an afflicted person can have alters that are very very young, and also some that are older… And they don’t always get along among themselves. Very sad situation.

      I have been told by a therapist, that usually the younger alters want to join up or “fuse” with an older alter…. So that’s good.

      Mentally challenged, but he might be your boss. Or he might be the homeless guy on the corner. You might never know.

    artichoke in reply to Close The Fed. | December 22, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    But there’s been sexual abuse of children for a long time, but this transsexual thing seems to be mostly new.

      It being ‘mainstream’ is new. The sewer-spill that was the obama presidency is responsible for that.

      DaveGinOly in reply to artichoke. | December 23, 2019 at 12:56 am

      Progressive political thought and intersectional/identity politics encourages people to “identify” themselves so that they can be recognized as an oppressed minority. Sexual identity is one of those identity sets. It started with gay men and women, and now continues with people who are mentally disturbed such that their gender identity is confused. (I do not believe gay men and women are mentally ill, they’re just wired differently. But it’s not something we need to know about. Identity politics encouraged them to “come out.” However progressives champion “acceptance” and “diversity.” I believe the goal should be “insensitivity.” We shouldn’t give a flying fig about anyone’s race, sexuality, or any one of a number of other “identifiers.” We just shouldn’t care and shouldn’t care to know.)

      Close The Fed in reply to artichoke. | December 23, 2019 at 9:48 am

      Artichoke, they just feel freer to be obvious now…

      Look at the gay pride parades. Used to be reasonably tame, now there’s flaming everything at those.

      Agree with Milo Yianapolis sp?, they ought to go back in the closet.

If some guy wants to pretend he’s a woman, that’s fine with me. But there’s no way in hell that I’m going to pretend he’s a woman. The same goes for some gal who wants to pretend she’s a guy. Pretend all you want, Sweetie. But I ain’t pretending you’re a guy.
And stay out of the men’s bathroom.+

    “If some guy wants to pretend he’s a woman, that’s fine with me…”

    Around your young children? Alone with them?

      Antifundamentalist in reply to | December 22, 2019 at 9:04 pm

      Depends on the individual. I have met a boy-in-a-dress that I would trust to babysit my kids; but I wouldn’t leave any child alone with Great-Uncle Bill or my sister-in-law.

        Out of one hundred transvestites passing by on the street: how many would you trust your children around – compared to one hundred men or women passing buy on the street?

          Antifundamentalist in reply to | December 22, 2019 at 10:58 pm

          I trust NO ONE “off the street” around my children. I have also seen enough “upstanding members of the community” turn out to be predators to know better to judge someone based solely on outward appearances.

        Close The Fed in reply to Antifundamentalist. | December 23, 2019 at 9:50 am

        I hear you, Antifundamentalist, but unless you know that person intimately, you’re not going to know if they have a problem you wouldn’t expect as a babysitter:

        That one of their younger alters is in the driver’s seat, and does not have the wherewithal to control the kids, because he’s just a kid himself.

“Another coworker allegedly chose not to interact with the plaintiff.”
That should be protected behavior. At least, you won’t be accused of misgendering.

    Being ‘forced’ to ‘interact’ with someone?

    What does ‘interact’ mean? A Pandora’s box, isn’t it.

      I had to interact with one of these types. They had an odd name and I’d never met them except over email. It looked like an Asian name where you wouldn’t know the gender unless you knew the name….and woooo did I get a lecture on her homosexuality.

      I was a contractor at them time and had to really be “civil” or my contract would have been ended in heartbeat.

      That was MSFT circa about 10 years ago. Now I hear they have tranny bathrooms on every floor on the newly designed campus. I don’t miss being there.

I think I have more trans friends and acquaintances than most people do, certainly most people here. And I get along fine with all of them. I respect their feelings by addressing them as they like to be addressed. That’s just being polite. It doesn’t mean I accept their assertions as the truth. So far, at least, none of them have demanded that of me.

Only one, as far as I can recall, has asked me my opinion, and I gave it: I told him (as he prefers to be addressed) that I don’t know what he’s hiding in his trousers, and I have no wish to know, but in my opinion that determines who he really is. If he’s had surgery, then as far as I’m concerned he’s really a man; otherwise he’s a woman pretending to be a man, but I’m willing to play along with that pretense because it would be rude and unfriendly not to. He didn’t like that answer, but he accepted it in the spirit I gave it.

None of my friends and acquaintances are anything like these insane bullies who insist that you acknowledge their truth and deny the one your senses tell you is correct, the ones who think 1984 is a manual. I cannot understand them at all.

    Much the same here, only I’m in a social group that has a large unconventional fraction to it. Wonderful people, really, but sometimes it can be a little difficult to use ‘she’ for somebody who really needs to shave. We get by, everything from full socialists to determined Trump supporters. Love and Tolerate.

    Paul In Sweden in reply to Milhouse. | December 25, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Millhouse, I agree with you and have similar experiences. Growing up in NYC and working in NYC(SanFran and Boston) gave me a lot of interaction with the Gay and Trans community. There was never anything adverse, quite to the contrary, my reflections on my past LGBT friends and co-workers are all positive. As a young man I questioned but understood why I was turned away on Gay night at my frequented Manhattan clubs of The Village & Alphabet City. Not a big deal. Although, it would be illegal to reverse the situation, I understand the desire and need to be exclusive. BTW I think it is or should be illegal the other way around too. Good for the Goose and all but it is not and issue I would push. I actually think people should be allowed to have exclusive gatherings.

    I even got along with the one pushy long blonde(wig) tranny prostitute and came to an understanding over time that our lifestyles were not going to cross paths but enjoyed the conversation and even bought HIM beer from time to time. He had a feminine name, I do not remember it but sometimes I used it. The conversations were interesting and I particularly enjoyed it when I slipped him a Twenty and asked him to hit on my unsuspecting friend that joined me in Manhattan that night.

    Adults are free to do what ever they want as long as they do not interfere with others pursuit of life and happiness. While I have never had a negative experience what I read and hear about gives me a lot of concern. I am however particularly incensed by the legislation that has been passed by the federal govt. state movements, and municipalities to placate the militant LGBT s which are contrary to the freedoms that are instilled in myself and I believe the majority of us.

The bets way to avoid this kind of situation is to not hire freaks in the first place.

When interacting with another person the only pronoun needed is the gender neutral ‘YOU’.

Can YOU please hand me that report?
Did YOU know that YOU are expected to be here at 9:00?
Will YOU please shut up?
YOU are fired!

If this person identified as Napoleon, would I be obligated to help him invade Russia?

J. K. Rowling is correct — live as you wish. But you can’t force me to participate in your delusion.

It is times like this where you have to envy the elderly who will say whatever the flip they want and not apologize for it.

Or those who have nothing for the SJW mob to go after.

This individual should identify as a hard-working employee who gets excellent results. No problems with pronouns or any other parts of speech.

This situation may appear laughable at first glance, but, it’s anything but. Call this what it transparently is — the latest manifestation of the Left’s insane “trans” narcissism/totalitarianism.

The only funny thing, here, is that contemptible corporation, Nike, has long been enabling, enriching and facilitating the rise of these same “woke” narcissists.

Anacleto Mitraglia | December 23, 2019 at 7:17 am

I love it.

Moral of the story? Don’t hire mentally ill people.

casualobserver | December 23, 2019 at 8:53 am

This has nothing to do with the law and its enforcement. It’s purely a play on a global brand’s desire to be woke and how much they will cower to pressure. Don’t want to upset the mob? Pay up buddy!!

Lyles is a mentally deranged fruitloop. Tell him to pound phucking sand.

I love when the SJW’s start cannibalizing each other. Schadenfreude.

AF_Chief_Master_Sgt | December 23, 2019 at 10:04 am

Do a web search of “Jazz Lyles,” and you will find that SHE is a black bull dyke woman who quickly realized that being a garden variety black in today’s world just doesn’t carry the same weight as it did before extreme wokeness appeared.

The name Jazz was a giveaway anyway.

I am under no obligation to refer to anyone by their chosen pronoun. First, I would not hire someone like this. Second, I would not accept this type of person as a contractor. Third, she screams of being a problem child and should have been removed from consideration during the interview. If she is truly a “contractor” then the company that hired her is responsible to keep her gainfully employed.

Just like a temp employee, if she was not performing to my standards I would inform the contracting agency that I wanted her replaced (and do it all of the time). Her true employer is responsible to find her employment.

if my cat(s) had kittens in an oven I am not gonna call them biscuits.
those that don’t like that can FO

“Lyles was assigned the female gender at birth …”

Because few have difficulty determining the sex of a puppy or kitten at birth, and even determining whether a chick is a hen or a rooster can be learned. But determining the sex of a human infant is now and forever beyond medical science?

There is a problem of knowledge: in a large organization you do not know everyone and especially you do not know their pronouns (which are nonstandard and can change).
A second problem is restrooms. Many companies have locker rooms so you can shower (for those who bike to work etc). Many trans people have NOT have the surgery so you can get male people (with fake boobs but still having a penis, like Bruce Jenner) showering with the female employees. While you as an outsider may not care, those women impacted may very much care about their private space being invaded. Men are less sensitive about this but could still be quite uncomfortable with a woman who is transitioning using their showers.