An allegation of sexual harassment by Gretchen Carlson set off a firestorm of activity earlier this month. The former television anchor claims that Roger Ailes, the 76-year-old CEO and Chairman of Fox News, made numerous unwanted sexual advances and repeatedly injected sexual comments into routine work conversations during Carlson’s tenure at the network. Within hours of Carlson’s lawsuit becoming public, the law firm which represents her maintains that at least 10 other current and former female Fox News employees came forward with similar claims. Most recently, the network’s biggest star, Megyn Kelly, has also alleged that Ailes sexually harassed her a decade ago.
At McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C., we know that this type of reaction is not uncommon. Many victims of sexual harassment will battle feelings of shame and embarrassment, as well as a fear of retaliation for giving voice to their concerns. As a result, they may keep their experiences a secret and falsely assume that they alone have been sexually harassed in their workplace. When a co-worker formally accuses a supervisor or manager of sexual harassment, it will often embolden others to tell their own story.
The plaintiff was terminated from her role as co-host of Fox’s “The Real Story” in June, nine months after complaining to Ailes about his behavior. At the meeting Ailes allegedly suggested to Carlson that many of their differences could be resolved by instituting a sexual relationship. According to Carlson, the termination was retaliatory and a direct result of her continued resistance to Ailes’ advances.
Fox, for its part, responded to the lawsuit by expressing confidence in Ailes but conceded that an internal investigation of Carlson’s claims is underway. In a July 8, 2016 court filing, Fox further maintained that any allegation of misconduct by Ailes is subject to confidential arbitration pursuant to the terms of Carlson’s 2013 employment contract with the network. According to Fox, Carlson’s lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey should be stayed pending the outcome of arbitration.
Cherry Hill Sexual Harassment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Seek Justice for Victims of Sexual Harassment
While it is still unresolved, the conduct of this sexual harassment case is indeed common. If you or a loved one is a victim of sexual harassment, the Cherry Hill sexual harassment lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. can help. Contact us online or call our Red Bank, New Jersey offices at 732-842-6500 or our Marlton, New Jersey offices at 856-985-9800.