Fox News Agrees to Settlement of Sex Discrimination Suit

Bloomberg News
Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Fox News Network, a unit of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., has agreed to pay $225,000 to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sex discrimination suit.

The resolution of the suit claiming harassment at Fox News headquarters in New York is before U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III for approval, the EEOC said yesterday in a statement.

The accord, if approved, will end a November 2005 lawsuit claiming Fox News Vice President Joe Chillemi used obscene terms to describe women and their body parts. The money will be divided among four women in the advertising and promotion department, and the company will train workers on discrimination law, the EEOC said. Fox denies any wrongdoing.

The EEOC complaint said Fox News failed to enforce the 1964 Civil Rights Act by retaliating against one of the four employees, Kim Weiler, who complained that women were assigned to freelance positions with fewer benefits, less advancement potential and lower job security than others.

The complaint claimed Chillemi, during a department discussion about discrimination in the workplace, said that when choosing between hiring a man or a woman, "of course I'd pick the man. The woman would most likely get pregnant and leave."

In October 2004, Fox News talk show host Bill O'Reilly settled a sexual harassment suit filed against him by his former producer Andrea Mackris, hours before a scheduled court showdown over audiotapes believed to be at the heart of the case.

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