"The woman would most likely get pregnant and leave"

Fox News agrees to pay $225,000 in a sexual discrimination suit.

Published August 1, 2006 8:29PM (EDT)

Fox News Network, that beacon of light in the West, has agreed to pay $225,000 to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sex-discrimination suit, the Washington Post reports.

This is the second high-profile sex-discrimination-related suit that Fox has faced in as many years. In 2004, Bill O'Reilly, who has more or less become the face of Fox, settled a sexual harassment suit filed against him by his former producer, Andrea Mackris.

The EEOC suit doesn't have the tabloid exploits of O'Reilly. (Remember the loofah?) It's just your ol' run-of-the-mill sexual discrimination case that so often gets swept under the rug. Filed in November 2005, the complaint claimed that Fox News vice president Joe Chillemi "used obscene terms to describe women and their body parts." The complaint also stated that "during a department discussion about discrimination in the workplace, [Chillemi] said that when choosing between hiring a man or a woman, 'of course I'd pick the man. The woman would most likely get pregnant and leave.'" (Guess Chillemi isn't acquainted with many heartless childless types.)

The EEOC claims that "Fox News failed to enforce the 1964 Civil Rights Act by retaliating against one of the four employees, Kim Weiler, who complained that women were assigned to freelance positions with fewer benefits, less advancement potential and lower job security than others." The network denies any wrongdoing.

Well, Fox, you report. We'll decide.

By Sarah Goldstein

Sarah Goldstein is an editorial fellow at Salon.

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