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Fox News deleted computer data, spied on text messages of employees who claimed sexual harassment, city investigation charged

Noah Goldberg, New York Daily News on

Published in News & Features

The company also blacklisted and publicly discredited employees who claimed harassment, saying that their allegations were “politically motivated or asserted for personal gain,” according to the complaint. The network allegedly went out of its way to prevent harassment accusers from getting work at other outlets.

The $1 million the company shelled out to resolve the commission’s investigation was the highest ever under the city’s human rights law. As part of the settlement with the city, Fox News agreed to implement new sexual harassment training. The network says it has been in full compliance with the settlement.

The complaint details six allegations of retaliation by the company, though names and dates are redacted.

In one case, a Fox employee allegedly endured “crude comments” from her superior in front of colleagues. While another colleague made a recording of the comments and reported it to management, the superior who made the crude comments “faced no repercussions,” the commission charged.

Instead, Fox reassigned the woman who complained, according to the complaint.

Another woman had her pay cut and lost valuable appearances on prime-time shows after she refused sexual advances from a Fox News executive, the complaint says.

 

In retaliation, the company coordinated a hit piece slamming her, according to the complaint.

Clevenger filed the complaint as evidence in a lawsuit brought by former producer John Fawcett against the network. In addition to the alleged harassment by Napolitano in an elevator, Fawcett says Fox Business host Larry Kudlow made racist and sexist remarks during staff meetings — going so far as to block the appearance of a Black congressman on his show.

Kudlow, Napolitano and Fox News deny Fawcett’s allegations.

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