Ex-Fox News staffer says she was fired after following company policy on sexual harassment reporting
Former Fox News Radio correspondent Jessica Golloher filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against Fox News this week, claiming that the network fired her after she used their company hotline to report “sexist” harassment.
Golloher’s suit claims that she was fired 24 hours after reporting gender harassment — or as the suit put it, “marginalized and subject to discrimination based on her gender.”
“Putting aside the fact that very few employees were even aware that a hotline existed prior to its mention in recent press accounts, Jessica Golloher, Fox News Radio Network’s Middle East/North Africa correspondent, did summon the courage, on April 17, 2017, to email 21st Century Fox’s purported independent investigator and request an opportunity to speak with her regarding issues at Fox,” court documents obtained by The Wrap read.
“Within 24 hours of sending this email, and knowing that Ms. Golloher had previously made internal complaints about gender discrimination,” the documents continued, “Ms. Golloher was, without any prior warning, fired — effective August 2017. The decision to terminate Ms. Golloher can only be described as a blatant act of retaliation.”
The lawsuit also turned its sights to the shake-up that’s been occurring within the network’s organization since 2016.
“Simply put,” the suit continued, “any purported desire on the part of Fox to clean up its culture and actually encourage employees to come forward with complaints about discrimination in the workplace is nothing more than a move to salvage its reputation.”
The lawsuit stated that Gollaher was refused a lead reporter position at the 2014 Olympics because she was a female and also claimed that she was treated disrespectfully by male staffers because she was a woman.
Golloher alleged that after she filed the complaint with the company hotline, Fox terminated her employment citing “budgetary” reasons.
Golloher’s attorney, Douglas Wigdor, had this to say in a statement:
As we allege in the complaint, terminating an employee within 24 hours of utilizing the “hotline” that Fox has touted as a defense to the O’Reilly sexual harassment matters is yet another indication of its lack of oversight and retaliatory animus for those that are brave enough to report unlawful conduct. What is even more dumbfounding, however, is that Fox Radio’s Vice President and General Manager, who conducted the termination in question was, according to media reports, fired from his prior job at ABC, after ABC learned of his improper use of on-line material that included a sexually explicit photograph that was turned over to the FBI.
A 21st Century Fox representative told Deadline on Wednesday that Gollaher’s case is “without merit,” and that the former employee’s claims of “discrimination or retaliation” are “baseless.”
“We will vigorously defend the matter,” the Fox representative maintained.