Fox News has reportedly paid a roughly $15 million settlement to former host Melissa Francis, who filed a complaint with New York state’s labor board accusing the media company of paying her less than her male colleagues.
The Washington Post reported that Fox News agreed to the settlement, citing documents the newspaper had obtained and reviewed.
The news network, in a statement, said it has “undergone a comprehensive overhaul of its entire workplace culture,” including in areas that promoted women.
“We parted ways with Melissa Francis over a year and a half ago and her allegations were entirely without merit. We have also fully cooperated with the New York State Department of Labor’s investigation and look forward to the completion of this matter,” the statement read.
Francis is a former actress who appeared in “Little House on the Prairie,” before earning an economics degree and working for CNBC.
She later worked for Fox News from 2012 to October 2020, co-hosting popular shows like “Outnumbered” and “After The Bell.”
She filed her complaint against Fox with the New York State Department of Labor shortly before her firing, accusing the media company of enforcing gender pay disparities.
In December, it was reported the state’s labor department was investigating Fox for the ex-host’s claims of bias and unequal pay.
Fox News has grappled with gender bias and sexual harassment claims before, including a scandal with Roger Ailes, the company’s former CEO, who resigned in 2016 amid sexual harassment claims.
Fox that year paid a $20 million settlement to ex-host Gretchen Carlson, who had filed a sexual harassment claim against the company and the late Ailes.