Nike Misses Deadline, Giving Worker’s Safety, Wage Suit a Boost

A salesman who filed a would-be class action against Nike Retail Services Inc. alleging unsafe and unhealthy work conditions is poised to pursue wages he claimed weren’t paid and other damages, after the company missed a filing deadline in the case.

Omran Hamid, a former employee at the company’s retail store in San Clemente, Calif., alleged in February 2017 that Oregon-based Nike didn’t provide seating on the job and forced employees to share headsets, which he called an “unhealthful and unsanitary practice.” The worker also brought wage claims.

The Superior Court of California in Orange County entered a “default” against the global apparel firm May 18 and rejected a May 21 attempt to answer Hamid’s claims, citing the missed deadline.

Under California law, the judgment limits what Nike can file in the case, but the company could still challenge the default being entered. An attorney for Nike declined to comment on the company’s next steps.

Hamid alleged Nike “exposes plaintiffs to the risk of various infections, illnesses, and diseases which are transmitted based on close contact with the skin, ear wax, and body fluids (sweat), causing bacteria, and virus to easily spread among the employees,” the original complaint states.

In April, Judge David O. Carter of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California remanded the case to California Superior Court.

Other defendants in the lawsuits are Nike’s district directors R.J. Hill, and Rianna Marie Lopez, in their individual capacity.

Representing Nike Retail Services Inc., R.J. Hill, and Rianna Marie Lopez are Michael Afar, Jonathan D. Meer, Sheryl L. Skibbe, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Los Angeles.

Representing Hamid is Natalie Mirzayan, of Law Offices of Natalie Mirzayan, Foothill Ranch, Calif. She didn’t respond to Bloomberg Environment requests for comment.

Nike Retail Services has faced 11 personal injury cases from 2015 to 2018, according to Bloomberg data, and as of 2014, the company had 1,140 employees.

The case is Hamid vs. Nike Retail Serv., Inc. , Cal. Super. Ct., No. 30-2017-00904483, 5/18/18.