Fox News to pay $1million fine over human rights violations

It's the conclusion of an investigation launched in 2016

Fox News has agreed to pay a $1million fine for violating a human rights law, it has been confirmed.

According to a report published by the Daily Beast, the broadcaster has reached a conclusion to an investigation which began in July 2016 when former CEO Roger Ailes was accused of sexual harassment. 

“We are pleased to reach an amicable resolution of this legacy matter,” a statement from Fox News Media obtained by Variety reads.

“Fox News Media has already been in full compliance across the board, but cooperated with the New York City Commission on Human Rights to continue enacting extensive preventive measures against all forms of discrimination and harassment.”

The fine will be assigned by New York City’s Commission on Human Rights, and will force the broadcaster to “acknowledge past incidents of misconduct such as sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation against employees”.

Roger Ailes Fox
Roger Ailes (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Fox News will also be required to overhaul policies on reporting sexual harassment and misconduct, and must scrap mandatory confidential arbitration clauses from contracts when filing human rights legal claims.

“With this settlement, the Commission not only ordered the largest civil penalty in the Commission’s history, but has mandated dramatic and critical policy changes at Fox News Network,” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights in a statement.

The statement continued: “Among these policy changes is a remarkable shift in how Fox News Network uses mandatory arbitration. Employers seeking to improve transparency and accountability on discrimination and harassment should look to this change in mandatory arbitration as a model for future policy.

“The Commission takes all allegations of sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination, and retaliation very seriously and our settlement today demonstrates that in New York City no one is above the law. Every New Yorker, whether in a newsroom or lunchroom, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect in their workplace.”