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Nike to update pregnancy policy for female athletes

Nike Inc. is revising new contracts for female athletes to protect their salaries during pregnancy, The Wall Street Journal reported May 17.

Previous contracts allowed the footwear retailer to cut athletes' pay if they did not meet performance thresholds for any reason, including pregnancy. Former Nike runner Alysia Montaño, who said she left the company after she was told her pay would be suspended if she became pregnant, criticized the company and its rivals for their pregnancy policies in a May 21 opinion piece for The New York Times.

Nike told the Journal it changed the policy in 2018 but did not write the change into existing contracts.

"Moving forward, our contracts for female athletes will include written terms that reinforce our policy," a Nike spokesman told the Journal. The spokesman said current athletes would receive similar protections.