Fox News is still recovering from the sexual harassment and assault accusations levied against them and a handful of executives and hosts and now they are literally paying for it.
The New York City Commission on Human Rights has issued a fine of $1 million against Fox News for violating laws protecting against sexual harassment and job retention.
The fine is the largest in the commission’s history, ABC News reported.
As part of a settlement agreement announced Tuesday, Fox also agreed to mandate anti-harassment training for its New York-based staff and contributors and to temporarily drop a policy requiring people who allege misconduct to enter into binding arbitration.
The penalty stems from an investigation that began in 2017 following several reports of what the commission called “rampant abuse” at the popular news and opinion outlet.
The first indication of problems at the channel came in 2016 when former anchor Gretchen Carlson charged that now-deceased network chief Roger Ailes had made unwanted advances and derailed her career when she rejected him. Both Ailes and former Fox personality Bill O’Reilly lost their jobs over misconduct allegations.
Several other women have come forward with lawsuits and their own harassment allegations, including former Fox anchor Megyn Kelly.
The $1 million fine groups four separate “willful and wanton” violations that each carried a maximum penalty of $250,000. The commission would not identify the people involved in those cases, or whether there were more.
Carmelyn Malalis, the chairwoman of the City Commission on Human Rights, said that she wants to fine to serve as a deterrent in the future.
“If people would dare to break the law and discriminate or harass people, there will be stiff penalties they would have to pay,” she said.
“We found that [Fox News] engaged in a pattern and practice of retaliating against the individuals that were working at Fox News,” Christina Piaia, supervising attorney of the commission’s gender-based harassment unit, said to NPR. “When such information was reported, oftentimes there was additional retaliation that happened.”
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