In Focus: Latest Lawsuits Shine Light on Racist, Sexist Workplace Cultures

Kathy Gurchiek By Kathy Gurchiek May 3, 2017
In Focus: Latest Lawsuits Shine Light on Racist, Sexist Workplace Cultures

An on-air personality at Fox News Channel (FNC) on Monday filed a lawsuit alleging gender and disability discrimination at the cable news network. The suit comes less than a week after a potential racial discrimination class action was filed against FNC. It's also the latest in a recent flurry of legal actions against other organizations, such as CNN, claiming discriminatory and harassing behavior toward employees. 

And a recent study looks at how unfair people management practices, sexual harassment, bullying and stereotyping of employees is leading to a massive turnover of women and underrepresented minorities at U.S. tech companies.

Reporter Alleges Gender Discrimination at Fox News in New Lawsuit

Diana Falzone, an on-air personality and host of various online shows for Fox, claims she was demoted after writing a column for in January that detailed her struggle with endometriosis, a painful disorder that can result in infertility. Her lawsuit was filed mere hours before Fox News confirmed the resignation of its co-president Bill Shine.

Fox News Co-President Bill Shine Out in Latest Shake-up for Network (with video)

Fox News co-president Bill Shine is out at the network, the latest casualty in the scandal that has plagued Fox News and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, since last summer. Shine's departure was announced Monday. The network said he resigned.

No one has accused Shine of harassing behavior, but some ex-employees have accused him of covering up the alleged wrongdoings of others. Shine has been named in at least four lawsuits or allegations involving alleged sexual harassment or racial discrimination at the network.

Lawsuit Claims CNN Is 'Rife With Racism' Akin to Allegations at Fox, New York Times

As many as 175 current and former employees of CNN have contacted lawyers about joining a class-action suit that alleges racism at the cable network. The news comes as two other media organizations, The New York Times and Fox News, are also being sued. Minority employees at CNN's Atlanta company headquarters had to endure remarks such as "It's hard to manage black people" and "Who would be worth more: black slaves from times past, or new slaves?," according to a complaint by former workers Celeslie Henley and Ernest Colbert Jr. filed in Atlanta federal court.
(New York Business Journal)

Why Was Bill O'Reilly Really Fired?

The ouster of the "O'Reilly Factor" host in April serves as a lesson about what happens when morality and money come to a head. A statement from Fox News Channel about O'Reilly's departure seemed to suggest that O'Reilly was let go because of a pattern of behavior offensive not only to the people targeted, but to broader ideals of decency, respectfulness and empathy as well.
(The Atlantic)

Survey Says Workers Are Leaving Tech Jobs Because Of Mistreatment

There are many ugly anecdotes about tech companies where women are sexually harassed or blocked from promotions, and where blacks and Latinos don't get hired. This new survey found that 37 percent of respondents indicated that unfair work practices played a major role in their decision to leave a tech company.

 Here's How HR Is Supposed to Handle Sexual Harassment

With allegations of sexual harassment at Fox News in the headlines, human resources is getting a lot of flak. If a company knows harassment is occurring, it must take appropriate steps to remedy things—or it can be held liable.



Hire the best HR talent or advance your own career.

Member Benefit: Ask-An-Advisor Service

SHRM's HR Knowledge Advisors offer guidance and resources to assist members with their HR inquiries.

SHRM's HR Knowledge Advisors offer guidance and resources to assist members with their HR inquiries.



HR Daily Newsletter

News, trends and analysis, as well as breaking news alerts, to help HR professionals do their jobs better each business day.