A large settlement that was recently reached between Fox News and former employee Gretchen Carlson could be considered a landmark case for those in California who have dealt with discrimination in the workplace. The parent company of Fox News, 21st Century Fox, agreed to pay $20 million to the former anchorwoman as a result of a very public sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit. In addition to the settlement, Fox also issued a rare formal and public apology to Carlson.
The suit first came to light on July 6, 2016, when Carlson sued the former founder and CEO of Fox News, Roger Ailes. She alleged sexual harassment and retaliation, and her allegations resulted in Ailes’ resignation shortly after. In order to appropriately investigate Carlson’s allegations, 21st Century Fox hired outside counsel to investigate the claims.
As a result of the investigation, over 20 additional women came forward to discuss their experiences with Ailes. The information obtained from these women has resulted in additional settlement deals between the women and 21st Century Fox, though they are reportedly much smaller in size than the millions paid to Carlson. There is one known lawsuit to be outstanding, which is between former host Andrea Tantaros and Ailes/Fox.
Those in California who have experienced sexual harassment, retaliation or any other employment dispute may want to consider speaking with legal counsel. An employment law attorney could be the best first step in determining if an employee’s situation has legal merit. Additionally, attorneys that focus in this area will be able to discuss various legal options that are available to their clients.
Source: money.cnn.com, “Fox News settles with Gretchen Carlson and “handful” of other women“, Brian Stelter, Sept. 6, 2016