Fox News Fined $1 Million By NYC Commission On Human Rights For Sexual Harassment

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Jesse Stiller Contributor
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New York City’s Commission on Human Rights has fined Fox News Corporation $1 million for violating laws that protected workers against sexual harassment in the workplace and forms of job retaliation.

The settlement, which is part of an agreement reached between the two Tuesday, is the largest penalty handed out in the commission’s history that covers four separate “willful and wanton” violations by Fox News, The Associated Press (AP) reported Wednesday.

The agreement will also require Fox News to mandate anti-harassment training for their staff and contributors in New York, The AP reported. Additionally, Fox News will only be prohibited from arbitrating New York City human rights claims for a four-year period, according to NBC News.

An anonymous hotline will also be established for employees to report harassment or retaliation, and the compliance of the company will be monitored for two years, The AP reported.

“We are pleased to reach an amicable resolution of this legacy matter,” Fox told The AP in a statement, adding that the company has “already been in full compliance across the board” and would continue to enact measures to stop harassment and discrimination. (RELATED: ‘If My Dad Had Been Accused Of Sexual Assault’: Meghan McCain Blasts Chris Cuomo For Not Covering Bad News About His Brother)

“If people would dare to break the law and discriminate or harass people, there will be stiff penalties they would have to pay,” Carmelyn Malalis, chairwoman of the Commission, told The AP regarding the penalty, and hoped the settlement will be a model for future claims.

The investigation into Fox News first started in 2017 after accusations of  “rampant abuse” were reported by numerous women, according to The AP. An internal investigation done by Fox in 2017 led to the suspension of host Charles Payne and the termination of host Bill O’Reilly.

In 2017, MSNBC confirmed that a similar incident occurred when “Hardball” host Chris Matthews made a $40,000 payment in 1999 after being accused of sexual harassment.