In July, former Fox News’ anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. Now, they reached a lawsuit settlement which involves $20 million. And yes, lots of law experts agree that this is a surprisingly high amount, especially for a workplace sexual harassment case.
The lawsuit was alleging that Mr. Ailes was continuously making sexually explicit offers to Miss Carlson. The lawsuit was filed specifically against Fox’s CEO Roger Ailes. However, usually, it is the employer who is liable for an unlawful practice by the employee (in a managerial position). In some sense, they filed the lawsuit in a bit of a rush. In fact, they have skipped many New York laws protecting women’s rights. However, everything turned out to be quite beneficial for Miss Carlson.
Mr. Ailes was denying the allegations claiming that former anchor’s contract was going to an end because of her low ratings. Let’s note that Miss Carlson’s contract was ending on June 23rd and the company did not renew it after that date.
Returning to the actual lawsuit settlement, many attorneys say that this case will boost the number of similar cases. The high amount that the company agreed to pay could encourage others who think they too have suffered harassment.
The company apologized to Miss Carlson in a press release by stating they are proud she was a part of their team. In the same note, they regret and apologize that former anchor did not get respectful treatment. As a matter of fact, this press release could also have been part of the lawsuit settlement agreement.
Thus, let us wait and see whether this huge lawsuit settlement amount will cause future claims against the company and its CEO or not. At the same time, note that the 3-year statute of limitations can bar some of the possible claims. Still, if you think that someone is harassing you in your workplace, you should turn to the lawyer for legal help.