Fired Fox News Tech Files Racial Harassment Suit
October 22, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)—-A former African-American Fox News technician, is suing the right-wing network for illegally firing him in retaliation for complaining about racial harassment in the workplace. The suit brought by Harmeen Jones, 32, alleges he was regularly subjected to a hostile environment of racism and intimidation by his co-workers and supervisors. One co-worker told Jones “you look like a gangster,” and “like you’re ready to shoot someone.” Jones’ attorney says this case is particularly onerous, because Fox News summarily fired the technician in retribution for complaining to the human resources department.
Jones began working for Fox News in 2005, and he says he was harassed on a daily basis and forced to listen to his co-workers make constant racist remarks.
“Harmeen Jones insists he was subjected to a steady stream of “racist, sexist, and extremely offensive comments,” against blacks, Muslims, Jews, women and Hispanics on a daily basis.”
“The atmosphere in the control room at Fox’s Manhattan headquarters caused him “embarrassment, fear and humiliation and made him feel like he is somehow less than fully human.”‘
“The Manhattan federal court suit names Fox News Network and seven of Jones’ colleagues and seeks $5 million in damages.”
Jones’ complaint was reviewed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before he brought his discrimination lawsuit in the United States District Court, Southern District Of New York.
Besides the daily racist “jokes” made in front of Jones, the former technician was also confronted directly with racial abuse, according to the complaint.
“One incident occurred during the debate over health care. While a few of the screens in the intake room were showing footage from a “tea party” rally on healthcare reform, Defendant McCool turned to Plaintiff Jones and said, in sum and substance, “this is what happens when you mess with white people’s health care.”
“Another incident occurred during the 2008 presidential election campaign. Defendants Greco and McCool, sitting a few feet in front of Plaintiff Jones, discussed how they wouldn’t feel comfortable having a black president. Defendant Greco then looked at Plaintiff Jones and on information and belief saw that his comments had made him offended and uncomfortable. Defendant Greco then said, in sum and substance, “am I offending your blackness?”’
After complaining to human resources, his colleagues called Jones a “snitch.” And it wasn’t long after, he was fired. “We gave you a chance and you repay us by making complaints to HR? You are terminated,” said Jones’ supervisor.
Fox News is also being accused of another case of retaliatory termination, after former reporter Catherine Herridge complained of age and sex discrimination. Her case is so blatant, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is directly suing Fox News on Herridge’s behalf.