New York (AP) — The New York City Human Rights Commission has fined Fox News $ 1 million, the largest fine ever, for violating laws that protect against sexual harassment and retaliation for work.
As part of the settlement agreement announced on Tuesday, Fox will also require New York-based staff and contributors to undergo harassment prevention training and initiate binding arbitrations for those who claim illegal activity. I have agreed to temporarily withdraw the policy.
The penalties stem from a survey initiated in 2017 following several reports of what the Commission called “rampaging abuse” in popular news and opinion outlets.
The first signs of a problem on the channel occurred in 2016 Former anchor Gretchen Carlson charged Its now-deceased network chief Roger Ailes made unwanted progress when she rejected him and upset her career.Both Ales and former Fox personality Bill O’Reilly Lost work that’s all Allegations of cheating..
Some other women have filed proceedings and allegations of their own harassment, Including former Fox anchor Megyn Kelly..
A $ 1 million fine groups four separate “intentional and unnecessary” violations, each imposing a fine of up to $ 250,000. The Commission did not identify whether there were any or more people involved in these cases.
Human rights officials said they hoped that large penalties would prevent bad behavior in any workplace.
“If people dare to violate the law and discriminate against or harass people, they will be subject to severe penalties that they have to pay,” said Carmelin Maralis, chairman of the City Human Rights Commission.
Fox has characterized the incident as a product of the previous regime, and the network Cleaned up the act Under the leadership of Suzanne Scott, the current CEO of Fox News Media. The commission did not reveal who it spoke to as part of the investigation, so it was not possible to determine if the incident occurred after Scott took over in 2018.
“We are pleased to reach a friendly solution to this legacy issue,” Fox said in a statement. “Fox News Media is already fully fully compliant, but we continue to work with the New York City Human Rights Commission to implement extensive precautions against all forms of discrimination and harassment.”
The commission said the woman who refused to move forward was retaliated for having fewer appearances on the air and poor job assignments, and spying on text messages.
Fox News said in its findings that he “guaranteeed that the complainer had no future” working on the network.
In addition to training requirements, the Commission said Fox must maintain an anonymous hotline for employees to report harassment and retaliation for work. Fox’s compliance will be monitored by external inspectors four times each over the next two years.
Mararis said a clause requiring Fox not to insist on compulsory arbitration to resolve the dispute (a forum that benefits employers and often keeps allegations secret) will be a model for similar resolutions in the future. He said he wanted to be. The provision will be enforced for 4 years.
“This is the essence of’I too’,” she said. “We make this public, so people, whether Fox News or other companies, can say,’This is happening to me.'”
She said the complaining person could choose for herself where to broadcast the accusation. The settlement does not affect non-disclosure agreements in which some employees who leave the company as a result of the wrongdoing of others agree not to discuss the matter in exchange for money.
Maralis said he couldn’t talk about Fox’s working environment right now. Like many other companies, many of their employees are absent due to a pandemic.
“I’m not there and I can’t see what their day-to-day work is,” she said. “It was the intent of this agreement to shape what is happening in Fox now, and certainly what will happen in Fox in the future.”
Since 2017, the Commission has filed 521 allegations of gender harassment in the workplace and has evaluated $ 4.5 million in damages and penalties.