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Fox News Faces Sex-Discrimination Suit

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a sex-discrimination suit on Monday against Fox News, on behalf of former employee Kim Weiler. The suit seeks new policies at Fox News to combat discrimination and demands punitive damages.

The complaint focuses on a vice president, Joe Chillemi, who supervises Fox Advertising and Promotions. According to the New York Times, the suit alleges that he used “gross obscenities and vulgarities when describing women or their body parts” that he “did not use with male employees” and that he “routinely cursed at and otherwise denigrated women employees.” The suit also cites a discussion of sexism in the workplace, in which “Chillemi said that in choosing who to hire, ‘If it came down between a man or a woman, of course I’d pick the man. The woman would most likely get pregnant and leave,'” reports the Associated Press. Finally, the lawsuit charges that women at Fox News were disproportionately hired in freelance or other less secure positions, and that Weiler’s dismissal was retaliation for her complaints of sex discrimination.

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly was accused of sexual harassment last year by his former producer. He and the producer settled the suit out of court for what was believed to be millions of dollars.

Sources:

Associated Press 11/7/05; New York Times 11/8/05; Washington Post 10/29/04