Fox News Channel is close to settling a sex discrimination suit filed by the feds on behalf of four former female employees.
In a deal expected to be announced as soon as Monday, Fox will pay a nominal sum — less than $250,000 — to the four women involved but admit no wrongdoing.
Suit, filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in November, alleged Fox marketing veep Joe Chillemi sexually harassed freelance production assistant Kim Weiler and exposed the other, unnamed women “to a hostile work environment because of their sex.”
The feds accused Chillemi of using lewd language in the workplace — expressions like “useless as tits on a bull” — and that he described pregnant women’s breasts as “fucking huge,” “cannons” and “melons.”
Chillemi, who headed the company’s promotions department, also allegedly referred to his female staff as his “Promo Girls.”
Fox painted the matter as an issue of bad language, not discrimination. At the time, Fox lawyer Steven Mintz called the action “legally baseless” and said, “We don’t view any of the assertions in the action as either harassment or discrimination.”
Fox made the call to settle rather than undertake the cost of going to trial.