Fox News has agreed to pay $10 million to settle discrimination cases with 18 former employees, putting to rest most of the litigation that followed the high-profile departures of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly over the last two years.
One of the cases was a class action with 11 plaintiffs who alleged that the network engaged in racial discrimination. Another involved a radio correspondent who alleged she was fired for complaining about gender discrimination, while in another case a Fox 5 correspondent accused the network of pregnancy discrimination.
Douglas Wigdor, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs, issued a joint statement Tuesday with Fox News: “The parties have reached mutual agreements that resolve various cases involving former Fox News employees.”
The settlements bring an end to Wigdor’s campaign of litigation against Fox News, which he at one point described as a “war.” Wigdor went so far as to travel to the United Kingdom last year to speak out against the Fox-Sky merger.
“My view of 21st Century Fox and Fox News is that from top to bottom there is a systemic culture of not only discriminating against people based on their gender and color, but also of retaliating against them when they stand up to voice complaints,” Wigdor told the New York Times last fall.
Two cases that were handled by Wigdor are still pending. Scottie Nell Hughes filed suit last fall, alleging she was raped by Fox Business Network host Charles Payne. Rod Wheeler, a private detective, sued the network last summer, claiming he was misquoted in a report, which was later retracted, on alleged ties between slain DNC staffer Seth Rich and Wikileaks.
The Wigdor firm filed a motion to withdraw from both cases on Monday, citing an “irrevocable breakdown of the attorney-client relationship.”