Fox News sued over gender discrimination, sexual harassment and racial discrimination

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Fox News is being sued over allegations of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and racial discrimination.

Three further lawsuits are being brought against the TV giant, bringing the total number up to 23.

The latest allegations come from Fox News Radio shift editor, Kathleen Lee who claims she suffered “unrelenting sexual harassment”; while Fox News employees Naima Farrow and Vidya Mann claim to have been fired once the company found out they were pregnant.

Lee is alleges that Fox radio anchor Ron Flatter referred to female employees as “sluts” and “whores”, as well as calling Hillary Clinton as Hillary “Clit-on”. Lee, who was born with heart conditions, one kidney and a rare genetic disease that resulted in scoliosis, also claims that Flatter discriminated against her due to her disabilities, calling her an “invalid”.

Despite making numerous complaints, Lee claims that Fox News Radio Vice President, Mitch Davis discouraged her from reporting the allegations to HR. Ignoring Davis, Lee took the issue up with Human Resources Manager Denise Collins, but claims it took four weeks to set up a meeting, after which Flatter’s behaviour did not change.

Further to Lee’s complaint, Naima Farrow and Vidya Mann also allege that they were fired shortly after telling their managers that they were pregnant. They also claim that they suffered racial discrimination from former Fox News controller, Judith Slater. It is alleged that Slater referred to the area of the building where Farrow and other minority employees worked as the “ethnic floor”.

The latest lawsuits follow a number of allegations including claims against high profile employees. Both Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly face claims of sexual harassment, while Fox News co-anchor Bob Beckel, who has since been fired, faces claims of racial discrimination.

The complainants are all represented by lawyer Douglas Wigdor, who also sent a letter to Ofcom, the UK’s media regulator, with updates on the complaints. Ofcom are currently investigating 21st Century Fox’s potential takeover of Sky TV.

In a statement released by the company, Fox News said, “We have consistently demonstrated that the Company is committed to a diverse workplace that is free from all forms of discrimination, takes any complaint of discrimination seriously, and in these particular matters took prompt, effective and, where necessary, strong remedial action.”

“We believe these latest claims are without legal basis and look forward to proving that the Company at all times has acted appropriately, and lawfully, in connection with these matters.”

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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