Fox News to pay $1M penalty after investigation into workplace culture

Fox News to pay $1M penalty after investigation into workplace culture
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Fox News has agreed to pay a $1 million penalty amid an investigation into workplace culture by the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

The commission said in a statement that the settlement came amid its investigation into a “series of high-profile reports” alleging a culture of sexual harassment and retaliation.

The settlement is the highest ordered for violations under the city’s human rights laws, and the first of its kind against a major news network by any civil rights enforcement agency.

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“We are pleased to reach an amicable resolution of this legacy matter," a spokesperson for Fox News Media said in a statement to The Hill. 

“FOX News Media has already been in full compliance across the board, but cooperated with the New York City Commission on Human Rights to continue enacting extensive preventive measures against all forms of discrimination and harassment,” the spokesperson added.

The parties reached the settlement last week, according to the Daily Beast, which first reported the settlement.

The commission began investigating in 2016 after accusations of sexual misconduct with female employees were levied against former chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, the news outlet reported.

The accusations came after former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Ailes, which would later get settled for $20 million.

Ailes left the network later in 2016, and passed away in May 2017 at the age of 77.

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The commission would file a formal complaint against Fox in December 2018, according to the Beast.

Under the settlement, Fox agreed to waive forced arbitration for claims over violations of human rights law in agreements executed with employees for four years, the commission said. The network also has to hold regular sexual harassment and prevention training for all of its New York City employees.

The network also has to implement a policy and complaint procedure for reporting discrimination and harassment complaints for at least two years.

Updated Wednesday at 7:10 a.m.