A woman who worked for Fox News’ radio unit has filed a lawsuit alleging she was fired from her job in recent weeks after reaching out to the company to complain about gender discrimination. The matter represents the latest in a string of legal maneuvers against the 21st Century Fox company, which has been the subject of a growing array of litigation suggesting women and minorities face a tough working culture there.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday in New York State Supreme Court, Jessica Golloher, a Fox Radio correspondent, alleges she was “marginalized and subject to discrimination based on her gender.”
In a statement, Fox News dismissed the allegations.“Jessica Golloher’s claims are without merit. Her allegations of discrimination and retaliation are baseless. We will vigorously defend the matter,” the company said.
A person familiar with the matter said Golloher’s contract had not been renewed due to budgetary concerns. This person said she did not respond to outreach from a law firm hired by Fox News to respond to employees calling a hotline to report incidents of possible harassment or discrimination.
The suit was filed by attorney Douglas Wigdor, who is representing eleven current and former Fox News employees who have filed a racial-discrimination lawsuit against the company (Fox News “vehemently denied” the claims), and who this week offered comments via letter to Ofcom, a British regulatory agency that is reviewing whether 21st Century Fox meets required standards to purchase Sky, the British satellite-TV giant.
In the lawsuit, Golloher alleges she reached out to an independent investigator at 21st Century Fox in an effort to discuss the way she had been treated at Fox News Radio. “Within 24 hours of sending this email, and knowing that Ms. Golloher had previously made internal complaints about gender discrimination, Ms. Golloher was, without any prior warning, fired – effective August 2017, the lawsuit alleged.
The suit adds to a growing batch of litigation levied against the highly-rated cable-news outlet. Fox News recently parted ways with Bill O’Reilly, its top primetime anchor, after reports surfaced that he had paid approximately $13 million in settlements to women who complained of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior. And federal investigators are examining whether Fox News made payments to former employees without disclosing them appropriately to investors in its parent company.