The avalanche of lawsuits against Fox News continued Thursday with a suit filed by a radio correspondent who alleges the network fired her after she reported complaints of sexual harassment to the network. In the suit filed in New York state court, Jessica Golloher, a Middle East reporter, says she reported instances of harassment, then was told she would be laid off 24 hours later for what the network said were budgetary reasons.
… Golloher says that in April she reported sex discrimination to a lawyer at the firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, which Fox retained last year to conduct an internal probe of harassment complaints. The next day, Golloher was told she would be laid off in August due to budgetary concerns, the complaint says. “Terminating an employee within 24 hours of utilizing the ‘hotline’ … is yet another indication of (Fox’s) lack of oversight and retaliatory animus for those that are brave enough to report unlawful conduct,” Golloher’s lawyer, Douglas Wigdor, said in a statement… Golloher, who is seeking unspecified damages, says Fox violated New York City and state laws prohibiting workplace discrimination.
A spokesperson for Fox News said in a statement to Reuters that Golloher’s claims were baseless. The network has faced a barrage of sexual harassment claims as host Bill O’Reilly was ushered out the door last month. There have also been lawsuits filed alleging racial discrimination. What’s particularly foreboding for the network about this latest suit is that the network had used its harassment hotline as evidence it takes sexual harassment seriously. It also liked to cite the lack of complaints registered on the hotline as evidence that sexual harassment was not, in fact, a problem at the network and that new allegations had ulterior motives. Golloher’s suit claims the harassment hotline was explicitly used against her and that the network used it “to paint targets on the backs of employees.”