Days after it went public that Fox News Channel fired finance executive Judith Slater for “abhorrent behavior,” two employees have filed a complaint against Slater as well as 21st Century Fox and Fox News.
The complaint says “Fox permitted Slater to subject Plaintiffs and other dark-skinned employees to a racially hostile work environment without fear of punishment or reprisal.”
Lawyers for Tichaona Brown, who works as a payroll manager, and Tabrese Wright, who is payroll coordinator, say Fox’s notification of Slater’s termination came only after Fox was made aware of this pending suit. “The leak was on a Friday, a day notoriously used to bury stories,” the complaint states. Slater was let go Feb. 28, but that wasn’t publicly revealed until last Friday.
Their complaint states that Slater “ridiculed black employees by mocking stereotyped speech;” that she “openly claimed that the Black Lives Matter movement is extremely racist;” and that she “regularly talked about her fear that black people want to physically harm white people.”
Brown has worked at Fox since 2008, working first for MySpace, then 21st Century Fox Films. She joined Fox News in 2010. Wright joined Fox News in 2014. They are both still employed at Fox News, and are seeking an award for compensatory and punitive damages in their suit which was filed in Bronx Supreme Court.
“We are confident that the good men and women of the Bronx will hold Fox accountable for what we believe to be its abhorrent racist conduct reminiscent of the Jim Crow era,” said attorneys Douglas H. Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen in a statement.
“We take complaints of this nature very seriously and took prompt and effective remedial action before Ms. Brown and Ms. Wright sued in court and even before Ms. Wright complained through her lawyer,” a Fox News spokesperson said. “There is no place for inappropriate verbal remarks like this at Fox News. We are disappointed that this needless litigation has been filed.”