Feds Sue Fox News In Age, Sex Bias Case

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a sex discrimination suit against the Fox News Network LLC, claiming that the network retaliated against D.C.-based homeland security correspondent Catherine Herridge. The alleged retaliation came after Herridge raised several complaints concerning age, race, and sex discrimination with the network. According to court documents, Herridge began filing discrimination complaints with Fox in 2006, alleging that "female and black correspondents were given less desirable shifts" in the network and that repeatedly, assignments—including an anchor job—were either denied or "taken away from her" due to her sex and age. Following an internal investigation, the suit claims, Fox notified Herridge in March of 2008 that "no discrimination had been found." Herridge disagreed with Fox's determination. When Herridge's contract came up for renewal that year, the suit claims, Fox included language referencing Herridge's past discrimination complaints against the company, and specified that Herridge wouldn't be serving as anchor or co-anchor during the contract's term. According to the EEOC suit, the contract constituted "retaliatory language" that was intended to "dissuade Herridge from making further complaints of employment discrimination" against Fox. The suit claims that Herridge refused to agree to the contract and was forced to work for the network "without the benefit of an employment contract" for the next nine months. Only after Herridge filed an EEOC complaint on the issue, the suit claims, Fox removed the language from the contract and Herridge re-signed with the network.