Society

Fox News Accused Of Gender Discrimination

| by Simone Stover

A reporter at Fox News is suing the network, claiming that they discriminated against her based on her gender and the fact that she suffers from a chronic illness.

According to The New York Times, Diana Falzone has appeared regularly on Fox News and has helped host several shows for the network online. Back in January, Falzone wrote an op-ed column for Fox News' website. In the op-ed, Falzone opened up about her struggles with endometriosis. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrial tissue that would line the uterus in a healthy body grows outside of the uterus. This tissue cannot exit the body and becomes trapped. This can cause several issues which can result in severe pain, formation of ovarian cysts, and infertility issues. 

In her post, titled "Women Should Never Suffer in Silence," Falzone opened up about the process of being diagnosed with endometriosis and the surgical process she underwent in order to treat her condition. She also touched on her own infertility issues and urged women who think they may have the condition to seek help.

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"The more we talk about women's health issues, the sooner we will get to finding cures and better treatment options," she said toward the end of the post. "You are not alone."

On May 1, Falzone filed a lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, reports The New York Times. The suit claims that three days after the op-ed was published, she was told by Refet Kaplan -- her supervisor -- that the network had barred her from appearing on Fox News on the air or on the network's website. The suit also claims that the network did not offer Falzone a reason for barring her from appearances.

The lawsuit did not address any additional speculation as to why Falzone was barred from appearances other than the fact that she was informed only three days after her op-ed was published. In addition, the lawsuit stated that up until the op-ed was posted, she had received positive performance evaluations. 

"The issues raised in Diana Falzone’s lawsuit are a concern for all women,” said Falzone's lawyer, Nancy Erika Smith, in a statement, according to The New York Times. "Fox News never banned her male counterparts who have discussed their personal health issues on air. Indeed, those men saw their careers advance."

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Falzone's suit is not the only legal issue that Fox News has been recently tied to, reports The New York Times. Back in April, popular host Bill O'Reilly of "The O'Reilly Factor" was pulled from the network in light of sexual harassment claims. In addition, on April 25, 11 employees filed a class-action lawsuit accusing the network of racial discrimination. 

On the day the suit was filed, Falzone posted a video to her Twitter page.

"Hey, everyone! It means so much to me that I'm able to speak openly about endometriosis and have your incredible support," Falzone said in the video. "Thank you for your kind messages and your blessings. I'm hoping that together we can raise awareness about endometriosis and be there for all the women who suffer from it. Thank you."

Sources: The New York Times (2), Fox News, dianafalzone/Twitter, Mayo Clinic / Photo credit: (vincent desjardins)/Flickr

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