A lawsuit against Fox News, filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on behalf of FNC personality Catherine Herridge, was essentially thrown out yesterday by a U.S. District Court in Washington DC. The suit claims Fox retaliated against Herridge, who has worked for the net since 1996, because she complained about discrimination after being passed over for a promotion. The suit alleges that FNC would not give her a “trial run” as an anchor because of her sex and age, then 42. She also says that female and black correspondents “were routinely given less desirable shifts.”
But the courts didn’t buy her story and instead granted a Motion for Summary Judgment. In documents obtained by FishbowlDC, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon sided with network and cleared FNC of the allegations. Leon also noted that the reporter engaged in “puzzling” contract negotiations, which aligned with her claims of discrimination. Records show that Fox offered Herridge a new, three-year deal in 2008: $495,000.00 for year one, $530,000.00 in year two, and $570,000.00 for the third year. But Herridge held out and countered with a 5-year contract starting at a whopping $900,000.00. A day later, FNC denied the counter and informed her agent that she was already the “highest paid reporter in the Washington bureau.”
“If you wish to have a serious negotiation…I suggest that you and Herridge become more realistic,” wrote Judge Leon in a summary document, highlighting the wild 95% salary increase request. “After close examination of this record, I also conclude that no juror could find that Herridge’s alleged harms would constitute materially adverse action in the mind of a reasonable employee,” he added.