Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, has settled with former Fox host Gretchen Carlson for $20 million in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Carlson against network founder Roger Ailes. According to a report in the New York Times, the network also issued an unprecedented public apology to Carlson. In addition to Carlson, Fox provided settlements to at least two other women who also said they were harassed by Ailes, who has been ousted from the network after Carlson’s lawsuit and several other similar allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace.
More Accusations of Harassment
Troubles began for Ailes and Fox News about two months ago when Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes. Media reports state that Carlson had solid evidence against Ailes because she had tape-recorded and documented some of the “harassing” conversations. Most of the quotes in the lawsuits from Ailes were taken directly from Carlson’s recordings.
Ailes still faces litigation after this settlements. Andrea Tantaros, a former Fox News host, filed a lawsuit two weeks ago, accusing Ailes of harassing her and other executives of marginalizing her after she complained about a hostile work environment at the network. Ailes has denied all accusations, as has Fox news.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act. Behaviors that constitute sexual harassment in the workplace include but are not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
If You Have Been Harassed
There are a number of steps you can take if you have been sexually harassed in the workplace. First and foremost, do not suffer in silence. Report the incidents to your immediate supervisor. If that does not have the desired result and the harassment continues, follow your employer’s process for filing a formal complaint. Often, this is done through the human resources department. It’s always helpful to record and document all interactions in such circumstances. When all internal processes fail to stop the harassment, it is important to file a government claim and seek the counsel of an experienced California employment attorney who can help safeguard your rights and obtain compensation for your losses.