Two black employees at Fox News say they faced "top-down racial harassment" from a female executive in a lawsuit filed against the cable news channel Tuesday night.
Tichaona Brown and Tabrese Wright, who both worked in the payroll department, claim in a lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court in the Bronx that Fox News' comptroller Judith Slater made racially charged comments to them, The New York Times reports. Some of the comments include suggesting black men were "women beaters" and that black employees did not pronounce certain words correctly, the court documents allege.
In the lawsuit, Wright detailed an incident in which she said Slater asked if her three children were "fathered by the same man." Both Brown and Wright said Slater's supervisor did not change Slater's behavior, which created a work environment with "severe and pervasive discrimination and harassment," according to the lawsuit.
Wright was transferred out of the payroll department and Brown was fired, the Times reported, but Fox News said Brown is still employed with the company.
Fox News said Slater was fired on Feb. 28 as a result of her behavior toward Brown and Wright.
“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,” the company said in a statement to the Times. “There is no place for inappropriate verbal remarks like this at Fox News. We are disappointed that this needless litigation has been filed.”
The Times was not immediately able to reach Slater for comment.