Fox News has been forced to dish out nearly $10 million in settlements for multiple lawsuits that allege both gender and racial discrimination. Most of the suits brought against Fox alleged racial discrimination, but some alleged gender discrimination and retaliation. The deal was announced on May 16th.
It was, however, the sexual harassment lawsuits against Roger Ailes and notable pundit Bill O’Reilly late last year that made major headlines. O’Reilly was dropped by Fox News and then again by his publisher after news of the scandal broke.
Initially, Fox had renewed his contract after settling the sixth O’Reilly sexual harassment claim for an astonishing $32 million. Notable figures at Fox News, including legal analyst Lis Wiehl, had accused O’Reilly of repeated harassment, the sending of explicit photos, and a non-consensual sexual relationship.
Afterward, O’Reilly suffered an epic meltdown in which he blamed God and the New York Times for “smearing his name.”
Fox News Culture Made it Difficult to Report Harassment and Discrimination
Among the allegations claimed that the culture of Fox News made it difficult on those who reported discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace. After a lawsuit by Gretchen Carlson alleging sexual harassment against Roger Ailes, Fox attempted to clean up its reputation. At the same time, however, they offered a contract extension to Bill O’Reilly after Megyn Kelly left the network.
After O’Reilly had vigorously denied that anyone had ever filed a complaint against him, it was Megyn Kelly who came out to say that she had warned Fox executives about the host’s conduct. She also indicated that Fox was not an easy place to file a harassment or discrimination lawsuit.
But O’Reilly and Ailes were not the only ones against whom sexual harassment complaints were filed. Eric Bolling, James Rosen, and Francisco Cortez, all left the network after allegations came forth about them.
Newest Lawsuits Focus on Racial Discrimination
The newest lawsuits, which were settled earlier this month, predominantly alleged racial discrimination. These were not filed by notable faces within the Fox News community, but rather backroom employees working for the company.
The first suit alleged that an individual in a managerial position singled out two employees that worked in payroll on the basis of race. They claim they were demeaned and spoken down to and that the work environment was hostile.
Some of the suits target Judith Slater, the network’s comptroller, who had apparently made racist comments. Employees made complaints against Slater to Dianne Brandi, the network’s attorney, who did nothing in response to either claim of racial bias or sexual harassment charges.
Have You Been the Victim of Discrimination or Sexual Harassment?
Fox News ended up paying out millions of dollars in lawsuits because they failed to respond to complaints as they occurred. Both the Federal Government and Nevada’s state government protect workers from workplace discrimination and sexual harassment.
That means that if you are being harassed by an employee or denied promotions based on gender or race, and your company does nothing to respond, you are entitled to seek damages against them.
HKM Employment Law of Las Vegas has handled numerous such cases securing excellent settlements for our clients. Give us a call at 702.625.3893 and we can begin discussing your case immediately.