HASH(0x292d064)

Lawsuit filed against Fox alleges racial discrimination

Lawsuit filed against Fox alleges racial discrimination

NEW YORK — An expanded lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses Fox News Channel of racial discrimination “that appears more akin to Plantation-style management than a modern-day work environment.”

The lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court, adds eight former and current Fox employees to a case involving three former Fox workers and their accusations against a since-fired Fox financial executive. It also expands the case to include Dianne Brandi, Fox’s chief counsel.

Fox News said it vehemently denies the allegations, calling them “copycat complaints.” It said Brandi denies the claims against her.

The original lawsuit was filed in late March by two black women who worked in the network’s payroll department, and a third colleague later joined it. The expanded lawsuit, incorporating the other employees, seeks unspecified compensatory damages and an elimination of unlawful employment practices at Fox.

The workers allege that their complaints about the actions of Judith Slater, the fired former comptroller, went unanswered for years. They say Brandi told them it was because Slater “knew too much” about former Fox Chairman Roger Ailes and top-rated host Bill O’Reilly, who have been ousted over the past year because of sexual-harassment accusations.

A lawyer for Slater, Catherine Foti, said the actions against Slater are meritless and frivolous. She said “all claims of racial discrimination against Ms. Slater are completely false.”

One plaintiff, on-air personality Kelly Wright, who’s black, said he’d been effectively sidelined and asked to perform the role of a Jim Crow, an insulting slang term to refer to a black man, according to the lawsuit. Wright said O’Reilly, who’s white, refused to show a piece Wright had prepared after racial protests in Ferguson, Missouri, because they showed blacks in too positive a light.

A former employee, Musfiq Rahman, a dark-skinned Bangladeshi, said he was punished after mistakenly walking into Ailes’ office by no longer being allowed on Ailes’ floor without an escort.

Mark LeGrier, a former financial employee who’s black, said he was subjected to retaliation when he complained to Brandi about Slater’s behaviour.

“When it comes to racial discrimination, 21st Century Fox has been operating as if it should be called 18th Century Fox,” said Douglas Wigdor, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

Meanwhile, Nielsen company ratings showed that Tucker Carlson moved into O’Reilly’s old time slot at Fox News on Monday night and took over his status as the most-watched host in cable news — at least for a night.

O’Reilly, who hosted “The O’Reilly Factor,” was fired by Fox last week following news about Fox settling sexual-harassment cases involving him for millions of dollars. He has denied the allegations.

Nielsen said Carlson’s first night at 8 p.m. attracted 3.17 million viewers, beating the combined audience of MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who reached 1.52 million viewers, and CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who reached 1 million.

Carlson did not beat O’Reilly’s nearly 4 million average during the first three months of the year. Carlson had averaged 3.3 million in the 9 p.m. time slot following O’Reilly.

David Bauder, The Associated Press

Just Posted

B.C. man convicted in fatal boat crash awaiting appeal date

Leon Reinbrecht maintains rights breached by delays

JoeAnna’s House fundraising campaign reaches $4.5 million

Offering ‘home away from home’ for families of KGH patients

Food truck options to expand in Salmon Arm

City council votes in new food truck regulations

New commercial development coming to council

Liquor outlet and 60-seat restaurant among uses proposed by applicant

Kelowna West byelection called for Feb. 14

Four candidate race to replace departed former B.C. premier Christy Clark

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

KIJHL prospects shine in showcase game

Top players for Kootenay and Okanagan conferences put best skate forward.

Challenge issued to ‘Read for 15’

Regional district libraries to compete by asking patrons to read for 15 minutes on Jan. 26 and 27.

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Public asked to report bat sightings

White nose syndrome leads to bats flying in winter or death.

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

Most Read