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13 Aug, 2020 22:49

Just HUSH it: Nike COVERED UP firing of employee who secretly filmed 50 men in restroom

Just HUSH it: Nike COVERED UP firing of employee who secretly filmed 50 men in restroom

Nike fired an employee at an Oregon plant accused of filming male co-workers using the bathroom, but did nothing to notify the authorities, who were tipped off separately and found at least 50 men had been covertly recorded.

Detectives learnt of the secret videos at a Nike plant in Beaverton during an unrelated investigation earlier this year, and found that 27-year-old Khoi Truong had surreptitiously filmed men in the restroom on his cell phone, according to a statement by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

Nike fired Truong after two co-workers separately witnessed him recording them and notified their supervisors, in November 2017 and April 2018, respectively, the sheriff’s department said. However, neither Nike nor the employees affected reported Truong’s conduct to the police at the time of his firing.

Truong was arrested on Wednesday and held in jail, with bail set at $100,000. A grand jury has indicted him on 10 counts of first-degree invasion of personal privacy.

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The sheriff’s department said investigators had worked with Nike to identify 23 victims so far, but dozens of additional men seen in the videos have yet to be identified. And the fact that the videos are now two to three years old won’t make the process any easier. There was no evidence that any hidden cameras were used, the sheriff’s department said.

Reactions to the revelation on social media ranged from suggestions that employees should file a class-action suit against Nike to calls for a boycott against the company, which has outspokenly backed social justice issues in recent years.

One poster opined that the gender of the victims allowed Nike to cover up the scandal, saying that, had it been women Truong had recorded, it would have called the police and alerted the media right away.

Nike has been a lightning rod for controversy over the years, including criticism for its use of sweatshop labor, illegal payments to amateur athletes and divisive advertising. The company's decision to hire former kneeling NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick prompted some consumers not only to boycott the brand, but also to burn the Nike clothes and shoes they already own. The company was quick to take the side of Black Lives Matter protesters in the aftermath of Minneapolis black man George Floyd’s May 25 death in police custody, moralizing that viewers must quit turning their backs on racism.

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