Many sexual harassment allegations and cases in California are not prominently featured in the news. This does not mean that they do not occur with significant frequency. It is simply a byproduct of such issues as harassment at work not being newsworthy unless it is a public person or entity involved. However, these incidents can happen in any job whether it is a publicly recognizable situation or not.
A former host for the Fox News Channel has filed a sexual harassment claim against the chairman and chief executive officer of the network. Gretchen Carlson asserts that she was subjected to various forms of mistreatment for rebuffing CEO Roger Ailes’ advances. She was also treated in a disparaging manner at the workplace and spoken to inappropriately by a co-host, Steve Doocy. Ms. Carlson departed the station in late June at the expiration of her contract. She states that her afternoon program was leading in its time slot at the time of her departure. She had been with Fox News for ten years after having worked at CBS News.
The legal filing says that Mr. Ailes committed acts of retaliation and sabotage of her career due to her rejection of his sexual advances. She met with Mr. Ailes to complain about her treatment. He told her that they should have begun a sexual relationship “a long time ago” and that both would have been better for it. Mr. Ailes is denying the allegations and says that Ms. Carlson is moving forward with this claim because her contract was not renewed. They also say that the low ratings of her program were the reason for the parting of the ways and that the lawsuit is a retaliatory act for her dismissal and not based on facts.
Sexual harassment can come in many different shapes and forms. It does not necessarily have to be related to such direct statements. Simply hearing a co-worker spoken to in a sexually explicit or harassing way or having a client make unacceptable comments can constitute sexual harassment. Those who believe that they have been subjected to this type of treatment or lost a job because of an unwillingness to acquiesce to sexual advances need to understand whether they have the right to pursue compensation.
Source: USA Today, “Gretchen Carlson files sexual harassment suit against Fox’s Ailes,” Roger Yu, July 7, 2016