News: Fox expends $45 million on sexual harassment cases in 9 months


Fox expends $45 million on sexual harassment cases in 9 months

A shocking revelation amongst string of pervasive harassment cases - Fox news spent about $45 million on sexual harassment settlements, since mid-2016.
Fox expends $45 million on sexual harassment cases in 9 months

 In the period of past nine months, 21st Century Fox, which is the parent company of Fox News has spent around 45$ million (290 crore) in settling sexual harassment cases. 

 Reportedly, as per company's quarterly report, the listed costs through the quarter ending on March 31, 2017 was $45 million, which was spent majorly on settlements of pending and potential litigations. Along with this, amid sexual harassment allegations,  the former CEO Roger Ailes departed in July 2016. Gretchen Carlson, former Fox News host accused Aliles of sexually harassing her during her long stint with the network.  A good publicized cost of $20 million was paid towards this settlement. 

After her disclosure, around 20 women came forward with their own sexual harassment allegations. Fox is said to have settled with at least two of them.

 Also recently, Fox parted ways with anchor Bill O'Reilly after he was also accused of sexual harassment. New York Times investigation reported that the network had paid around $13 million over the sexual harassment allegations made over the span of his career.

Another revelation was that the network did not inform its stockholders about sexual harassment settlements and now Department of Justice is investigating about it. 

In the span of past six months, more and more sexual harassment cases are coming to the forefront. People Matters reported in March about the lawsuit filed by a female employee working in Tesla, electric car maker, over the culture of gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the company. AJ Vandermeyden, the Tesla Engineer claimed that her repeated complaints of discrimination and pervasive harassment were ignored by the company.  As per her lawsuit, there was the use of inappropriate language, whistling, and catcalls. She was given less pay than men working in the company and fellow women engineers weren’t given deserving promotions. Also, she wasn’t paid overtime and no breaks were allotted to her including meal breaks when was in sales profile.

Also,  in another news  - Travis Kalanick asked Uber’s Senior Vice President of Engineering division – Amit Singhal to resign as the latter failed to disclose that he left Google because of sexual harassment allegations. Apparently, Google insider found the complaints against Singhal ‘credible’. This is one of the very few instances (or probably the first) where a company has voluntarily asked a Senior Executive to resign for a past allegation in a different company. This has come at a time when Uber which is already facing a lot of flak for being a ‘sexist’ organizations as alleged by a former Uber female employee who wrote on her blog about various incidents of sexism at Uber and also put the HR department under scrutiny. 

In India - In November 2016, a complaint was made by female Taj executive against Rakesh Sarana, Indian Hotels Co. Ltd (IHCL) over harassment and inappropriate conduct. The managing of this particular sexual harassment case is considered as one of the main factors that led to the dismissal of Cyrus Mistry as the chairman of Tata Sons on October 24, when Ratan Tata took back reins of group holding company.

In India,  every corporate need to set up Sexual Harassment committee to tackle such allegations. It has been mandated by the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act, 2013 which is an extension of the earlier Vishakha Guidelines. Corporates having 10 or more employees need to set up a committee at each location so that women can feel comfortable to come forward and make a complaint to local members of the Committee. The committee members are legally obligated to help the woman make the complaint in writing, in case, she is unable to do so for any reason.


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Topics: Culture, Diversity

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