Two Black women have filed a discrimination lawsuit Tuesday against Fox News in New York, claiming they were treated unfairly and subjected to multiple instances of racism by a White employee of the company, The New York Times reports.
Tichaona Brown, a payroll manager, and Tabrese Wright, a payroll coordinator, filed the suit with the New York State Supreme Court in the Bronx and named Fox News comptroller Judith Slater, Fox News, and parent company 21st Century Fox.
Brown and Wright are represented by the Wigdor law firm, the same firm representing two Black New York Times employees currently embroiled in a discrimination suit with the periodical.
Brown and Wright, allege Slater made numerous offensive comments, harassed employees of color and voiced troubling views in the work place. In one instance, the lawsuit says that Slater made Brown repeat the words, “mother,” “father,” “month,” and “ask,” in a meeting after claiming Black people repeatedly pronounced the words wrong. The suit names an incident where Slater asked Wright if her three children were fathered by the same man, and in a separate occurrence, mocked her hair and credit score.
Wright and Brown claim Slater’s superiors did little to thwart her attacks and said Slater created a hostile work environment. Another troubling accusation says Slater made fun of the Black Lives Matter movement and referred to the payroll department as the “urban” or “Southern” payroll department. The suit also includes the names of four Black employees who allegedly left the company after facing similar incidents.
“We are confident that the good men and women of the Bronx will hold Fox accountable for what we believe to be its abhorrent racist conduct, reminiscent of the Jim Crow era,” read a statement from Wright and Brown’s lawyers.
Wright, an employee of Fox since 2014, says she was demoted after she was moved to a separate department earlier this week. Fox claims the transition was not a demotion but a lateral move.
Brown, employed by Fox since 2008, believes she was fired from the company, but Fox News claims she’s currently employed. According to the company, Wright and Brown refused a settlement offer.
The New York Times reports Slater was fired on February 28 by Fox News who said the allegations caused them to take immediate action.
“We take complaints of this nature very seriously and took prompt and effective remedial action before Ms. Brown and Ms. Wright sued in court and even before Ms. Wright complained through her lawyer. There is no place for inappropriate verbal remarks like this at Fox News. We are disappointed that this needless litigation has been filed,” Fox News said in a statement.
SOURCE: The New York Times