Fox News is going to pay $1 million in fines as part of an agreement to settle a years-long human rights violations case that exposed the extent of sexual harassment, discrimination and other misconduct at the network.
Last week, the network signed an agreement with the N.Y.C. Commission on Human Rights, which began its investigation in July 2016 and filed a complaint in December 2018.
The settlement deal also forces #Fox News to temporarily remove confidential arbitration clauses from employee contracts for four years while also submitting to quarterly reviews by the commission for at least two years.
“With this settlement, the Commission not only ordered the largest civil penalty in the Commission’s history, but has mandated dramatic and critical policy changes at Fox News Network,” Carmelyn P. Malalis, chair and commissioner of the N.Y.C. Commission on Human Rights, said.
To contain some of the inevitable damage to its reputation, the conservative network insists the misconduct took place during a previous era and before its current chief executive, Suzanne Scott, took the reins.
“We are pleased to reach an amicable resolution of this legacy matter,” a Fox News representative said. “Fox News Media has already been in full compliance across the board, but cooperated with the New York City Commission on Human Rights to continue enacting extensive preventive measures against all forms of discrimination and harassment.”
The commission’s investigation began five years ago after former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson brought #sexual_harassment charges against longtime Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. Ailes was fired that year and given a $40 million severance package; he died in 2017. Bill Shine served as co-president of the network from 2016 to 2017 and was accused of seeking to suppress misconduct claims. He has previously denied those allegations.
Scott took over as CEO of Fox News in May 2018. Many have accused her of being a holdover from the previous era. She also stands accused of being involved with the network’s efforts to silence accusers. Julie Roginsky, one of the women who sued Fox News for harassment, said that Scott was a member of a team of executives who “retaliated” against the company’s accusers. Fox News denied the allegations.