Sexual harassment is a stain that many businesses cannot shake. It taints public perception and makes workers wary of upper management and one another. When sexual harassment claims are frequent and the company has a public profile, it can make things worse.
Fox news has a history of sexual harassment claims. One of its highest paid commentators, Bill O’ Reilly, was involved in a multi-million-dollar sexual harassment case that cost him his job. Other Fox news personalities as well as executives have also been accused of sexually harassing female workers.
Caroline Heldman, an associate professor and Fox news contributor, alleges that Woody Fraser sexually harassed her. Fraser is a longtime TV producer and was a friend to former Fox News CEO Robert Ailes. Heldman claims that Fraser offered her a job on the network if she agreed to engage in intercourse with him.
Heldman submitted a declaration stating that on three separate occasions, Fraser asked her for sex. Heldman maintains that she refused his advances each time. Heldman has also saved email exchanges between her and Fraser. In the exchanges, some dating back to 2009, Fraser comments on Heldman’s looks and makes inappropriate comments.
Sexual Harassment Lawsuits at the Network
Heldman’s declaration is not part of her own case. Instead, she has agreed to submit a statement to help two other female employees that worked under Fraser. Both employees are accusing Fraser of sexually harassing them while they worked at the Hallmark Channel. Heldman’s declaration can also be used as proof if she decides to file suit against Fraser. Fraser has issued a statement where he vehemently denies wrongdoing.
Sexual Harassment Plagues Fox
Robert Ailes, the now-deceased CEO of Fox News has also been accused of sexually harassing female employees. Gretchen Carlson, a Fox TV host, claims that on multiple occasions Ailes attempted sexual advances on her. After Carlson’s statement, more women stepped up and spoke about the rampant culture of sexual harassment at the news station. One former commentator even likened the environment to the Playboy Mansion.
Former network president Bill Shine resigned from the network amid sexual harassment claims and Fox executives had to pay over $13 million to Bill O Reilly’s accusers. Heldman admits to looking to Fraser as a mentor but claims he quickly crossed the line and made her uncomfortable.
When a company has rampant accusations of sexual harassment as well as proof in the form of lawsuits and settlements, it is much easier for past and present employees to come forward. These employees can offer a support system for one another, serving as character witnesses, submitting declarations, and litigating together as co-defendants.
Group support is especially important when victims issue claims against company executives. It can be highly intimidating to speak out about sexual advances from a CEO or another executive. If victims know they are not alone, they will be more likely to come forward.
It is also important to save email exchanges, text messages, and other correspondences between you and the accuser. Documentation provides proof of sexual advances and proof of your refusal. Heldman saved all her communications with Fraser and they serve as legal proof of her claim.
South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Advocate for Victims of Hostile Work Environments
Sexual harassment is a serious matter and you do not have to suffer alone. Seek the counsel of a South Jersey sexual harassment lawyer from Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Call us today at 215-569-1999 to or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.