Fox News Retaliated After Reporter Filed Lawsuit, She Says

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By Jon Steingart

Fox News retaliated against a reporter who filed a lawsuit claiming the network ended her on-air time after she wrote about her experience with infertility, according to an amended complaint filed in a New York state court ( Falzone v. Fox News Network, LLC , N.Y. Sup. Ct., No. 153973/2017, complaint amended 5/15/17 ).

Celebrity news and gossip reporter Diana Falzone says she’s received no assignments and many of her pitches have been rejected since she initially filed the lawsuit May 1. As a result, she has experienced a loss of stature and damage to her career path, Falzone says in the amended complaint filed May 15.

“She used to regularly record videos for Fox News all the time,” Nancy Smith, an attorney for Falzone, told Bloomberg BNA May 17. “She has not recorded one video for Fox News since Jan. 27.”

Falzone’s biography page on Fox News’s website lists her as the author of about a dozen articles appearing on Fox News’s website since she filed the initial lawsuit. One of the pieces includes a video of Falzone that appears to have been recorded in 2013.

“Anything that you see posted is an old video,” Smith said. “I can’t wait to hear why they claim she shouldn’t be on the air any more when they’re putting her on the air in old videos.”

Fox News didn’t respond to Bloomberg BNA’s request for comment May 17.

January Column At Issue, Lawsuit Claims

Falzone says Fox News Network LLC ended her on-air appearances in January after she wrote about receiving a diagnosis that would likely leave her unable to bear children. The network decided to keep her off the air because because her reproductive health status would detract from Fox’s presentation of women on air as exemplary specimens of female fertility, she says.

Men at the network who have openly discussed their medical issues on air—such as heart disease, multiple sclerosis, substance abuse and depression—haven’t experienced adverse workplace consequences, according to the complaint.

Retaliation charges have exceeded those of discrimination for the past several years, according to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission data regarding the federal laws it enforces. Under state and federal anti-discrimination laws, an employer can get in trouble for retaliation even if an underlying discrimination charge doesn’t pan out.

Smith and Neil Mullin with Smith Mullin P.C. in Montclair, N.J., and Martin Hyman and Matthew Daly with Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peske LLP in New York City represent Falzone. Andrew Levander and Linda Goldstein with Dechert LLP in New York City represent Fox News.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jon Steingart in Washington at jsteingart@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at maulino@bna.com; Terence Hyland at thyland@bna.com; Christopher Opfer at copfer@bna.com

For More Information

The amended complaint is available at http://src.bna.com/oWZ.

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