The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in federal court against News Corp.’s Fox News Network LLC.
A sexual harassment lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Fox News Network LLC contends that Fox retaliated against Kim Weiler, a former employee, for complaining about discrimination and that, as a result of the discrimination, Weiler and others at Fox were “constructively discharged” by the network. The suit does not state how many people were discharged.
The complaint contends that Joe Chillemi, a Fox vice president who supervised its advertising and promotions departments, sexually harassed and subjected Weiler and other women to a hostile work environment, routinely using obscenities and vulgarities to describe women or their body parts.
A spokesman at News Corp. and a spokeswoman at Fox News didn’t immediately return phone calls seeking comment late Monday.
The complaint says Chillemi also made a number of derogatory comments about pregnant women.
“In addition, at a department discussion about a segment on sexism in the workplace, Chillemi said that in choosing who to hire, ’If it came down between a man or a women, of course I’d pick the man. The woman would most likely get pregnant and leave,”’ the complaint says.
The lawsuit also claims a supervisor in the advertising and promotions departments, which Chillemi oversees, referred to women in those departments in a derogatory way as his “Promo Girls.”
The complaint alleges Fox discriminated against Weiler and other female employees in terms, conditions and privileges of employment, including assigning women primarily to freelance positions with less benefits, less advancement potential and less job security.
The lawsuit contends that Fox retaliated against Weiler for complaining about discrimination, but didn’t indicate what actions were taken.