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Fox News Faces Probe From N.Y. Human Rights Division, Attorney Says

Variety logo Variety 6/19/2017 Gene Maddaus
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The New York State Division of Human Rights is investigating Fox News for allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination, according to attorney Lisa Bloom.

Bloom tweeted early Monday that she had received word that the division is following up on a complaint she filed in April.

The state Division of Human Rights has the power to bring allegations of unlawful discrimination to a hearing before an administrative law judge. If the allegations are proven, the judge may order the employer to come into compliance and impose fines.

Bloom represents Wendy Walsh, who has alleged that she was harassed by Bill O’Reilly. In her complaint, Bloom urged the division to subpoena confidential settlement agreements and interview witnesses to determine whether Fox engaged in an overall pattern of harassment. Bloom argued that Fox’s internal investigation and a separate SEC probe into whether payoffs were concealed from investors are insufficient to bring to light the full scope of the discrimination.

“Equality of opportunity is a civil right,” Bloom wrote. “For the women of Fox News, year after year, this right has been abrogated. The world knows about it, but press reports are not enough. Women’s careers must be protected.”

Fox News and the Division of Human Rights did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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