Salient Points about the Carlson-Ailes Sexual Discrimination Lawsuit
The media is full of reports about the lawsuit Gretchen Carlson, former Fox anchor woman and television host brought against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.
Ms. Carlson claims that the chairman of Fox News, Roger Ailes terminated her employment because she refused to go along with his sexual advances. After she complained about being discriminated against as an anchorwoman in the newsroom, she alleges that he demoted her to a less prestigious position, reduced her salary, curtailed her on-air appearances and declined to renew her contract last month. She is seeking compensatory damages for sexual harassment and retaliation.
According to The New York Times , Ms. Carlson described Mr. Ailes as a serial sexual harasser and the network as a boy’s club environment.
What Makes This Case Stand Out from Other Discrimination Cases
What sets this case apart from other cases is the fact that Mr. Ailes holds such a prominent position in the media. He claims the allegations are false, are a retaliatory action for not renewing Ms. Carlson’s contract and called the lawsuit defamatory. Ailes’ corporate boss, Rupert Murdoch supports him in the defense against the allegations.
The lawsuit names Mr. Ailes as the sole defendant and not Fox News network.
Tactics Being Used in the Case
Ms. Carlton’s legal team has employed various strategies in handling the case, notwithstanding the use of the media to do the following:
- Distribute copies of the complaint to reporters across a variety of disciplines
- Twitter thanks offered by Ms. Carlson for outpouring support
- Hashtag: #StandWith Gretchen
- Prominently post information about the lawsuit on Gretchen’s personal website
It will be interesting to see how the case plays out in the media and the courtroom.
Stephen Hans & Associates is an employment litigation firm that defends small and medium sized businesses in discrimination, labor law and other employment related matters.
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