Lawyers for Julie Roginsky, the Russian-Jewish Fox News contributor who yesterday filed a sexual harassment suit against the network,its former Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes and current co-president Bill Shine, have filed letters with the New York City Commission on Human Rights and the New York City Corporation Counsel requesting the two city government entities conduct an investigation of Fox News.
Those letters, obtained by the Forward from Roginsky’s lawyers Martin Hyman and Neil Mullin, situate Roginsky’s claims against Fox in a landscape of broader allegations of abuse at the network.
“The media has recently reported on a number of claims that have been asserted against Fox News, its management, and/or its on-air personalities for unlawful discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation, in addition to Plaintiff’s claims,” both letters state.
The letters request the entities to whom they are addressed to conduct “an investigation into non-compliance with the New York City Human Rights Law at Fox News.”
According to the Commission’s website, New York City law prohibits discrimination across a broad range of categories, including race and gender, the latter of which covers sexual harassment. The office of Corporation Counsel Zachary W. Carter “prosecutes and defends lawsuits in the name of the City of New York, its agencies and citizens.”
Recent legal claims against Fox News include a racial discrimination case, which today added a third plaintiff, and former anchor Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment suit, filed last summer, against Ailes, who subsequently resigned as Chairman and CEO. (He remains on retainer as a consultant.) Fox settled with Carlson for $20 million.
Additionally, on April 1 The New York Times published an investigation that showed that Fox and host Bill O’Reilly have settled five sexual assault allegations against O’Reilly.
At the time of publication, Fox had not responded to the Forward’s request for comment.
Roginsky remains a paid contributor to Fox, a fact listed by her lawyers as relevant to their request for independent investigation of the network.
“Plaintiff remains a paid contributor/on-air personality for Fox News and wishes to be able to work in an environment free from unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation,” they wrote.