Fox News Hit with Sex Discrimination Complaint

November 8, 2005 ( - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has charged that News Corp.'s Fox News Network LLC illegally forced out a female former employee who had complained about being harassed.

The lawsuit claims that the network “constructively discharged” Kim Weiler after she complained about what she said was sexual harassment, the Associated Press reports. According to the lawsuit, Joe Chillemi, a Fox vice president who supervised its advertising and promotions departments, sexually harassed and subjected Weiler and other women to a hostile work environment, routinely using obscenities and vulgarities to describe women or their body parts.

The suit alleges Fox discriminated against Weiler and other female employees including assigning women primarily to freelance positions with fewer benefits, less advancement potential and less job security.

According to the EEOC lawsuit, Chillemi also made a number of derogatory comments about pregnant women. The complaint says, “In addition, at a department discussion about a segment on sexism in the workplace, Chillemi said that in choosing who to hire, ‘If it came down between a man or a women, of course I’d pick the man. The woman would most likely get pregnant and leave.'”

The lawsuit also claims a supervisor in the advertising and promotions departments, which Chillemi oversees, referred to women in those departments in a derogatory way as his “Promo Girls.”