In July 2016, former Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit accusing the chairman of Fox News, Roger Ailes, of sexual harassment and retaliation. The complaint alleged that Carlson repeatedly refused Ailes’s sexual advances, which resulted in a pay cut, a move to a less desirable show, and a denial of opportunities to conduct important interviews. It was announced today that a settlement has been reached in which the network will pay Carlson $20 million and issue a public apology. This is very unusual in a case like this.
Unlawful sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other similar conduct that unreasonably interferes with the terms or conditions of your employment. In particular, if this conduct creates a hostile work environment or makes you feel your job may be in jeopardy if you refuse – this is unacceptable and may be a violation of employment laws.
If you complain about sexual harassment in the workplace, it is unlawful for your employer to take any adverse action against you for doing so. In Gretchen Carlson’s case, she alleged that the network cut her pay, moved her to a less desirable show, and denied her opportunities to conduct important interviews in retaliation for her refusing Ailes’s sexual advances; if true, this certainly is unlawful.
At Scott Gilmore Thompson, Matt Scott is experienced in handling these types of cases. If you or someone close to you has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace please let us help guide you through what can be a very difficult and uncomfortable situation. We can help.