California residents may be aware that the sexual harassment suit filed by TV anchor Gretchen Carlson against former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes in August was recently settled. In a Sept. 6 statement, 21st Century Fox thanked Carlson for her work with the popular cable news channel and apologized for the way she had been treated. Several media reports claim that the 50-year-old former 'Fox and Friends" anchor will be paid as much as $20 million in the settlement.
While sexual harassment lawsuits can sometimes drag on for years, several legal experts were not surprised with the quick settlement of the Carlson lawsuit. Several other women have come forward since and claimed that Ailes had also acted inappropriately to them. Experts say that Fox acted quickly once they realized that the damage had already been done and delaying matters would likely make things even worse.
Publicity can be a plaintiff's best friend when the defendants in a lawsuit are famous or accused of salacious conduct. However, these plaintiffs are often asked to sign confidentiality clauses in return for a rapid settlement. While the exact terms of Carlson's settlement have not been revealed, the resolution of the case has not been shrouded in the kind of secrecy common when high-profile sexual harassment cases are resolved.
Federal and state laws protect workers in California from inappropriate and unwanted behavior, lewd comments and other forms of sexual harassment. Unfortunately, many employees still endure hostile working environments because they fear that stepping forward could cost them their jobs. Attorneys with experience in this area could provide support for harassment victims and help them take proper actions against their employers.