The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last
week filed suit against Fox News Channel parent Fox News Network in Washington
alleging that it attempted to punish reporter Catherine Herridge over sex
and age discrimination complaints.
According to the suit, Herridge complained to
officials at Fox back in 2007 about what she thought were discriminatory
employment practices. After an investigation, Fox told Herridge it had
found no such conduct.
The suit hinged on language in Herridge's
next contract that the EEOC says was intended to prevent her from making
complaints in the future. Herridge refused to sign the contract, Fox
refused to negotiate, and she became an "at-will" employee, says
EEOC, which caused her "considerable stress."
The EEOC is seeking both compensatory and
punitive damages and an injunction against Fox preventing it from further
retaliation against employees.
"The anti-retaliation provisions of Title VII and
other federal anti-discrimination laws are indispensable to the attainment of a
workplace free of discrimination," said EEOC attorney Lynette A. Barnes in
announcing the suit. "Employers must take care that any action taken in
response to a discrimination complaint is constructive and not
A Fox spokesperson was not available for comment at press time.