Lidija Ujkic publically known as Lidia Curanaj (“Curanaj”), a news reporter for Fox Tv Stations filed suit in the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York against 21st Century Fox (“21st Century”) alleging gender, age, race, and pregnancy discrimination.
21st Century owns more than 20 local television stations across the country and is the corporate parents of New York Fox TV station, WNYW, where Curanaj was employed. Curanaj also named two of Fox Television Station’s indirect corporate parents as Defendants.
Curanaj claims that she confronted her news director, Roger Ailes, about not being promoted to anchor and he replied she was “not attractive enough to be an anchor.” She further alleges that she was denied the position because of her age and because she would be “unwilling to submit to her superior, sexually.” She alleges Ailes created an environment within the company that allowed Ailes to make inappropriate and disparaging comments about her looks, age and ethnicity. However, Curanaj’s complaint failed to name Ailes as a defendant.
A spokeswoman for Fox Television Stations commented that Curanaj’s claims lack merit and 21st Century intends to defend the case forcefully.
On February 2, 2017, Fox 21st filed a motion to dismiss arguing that the corporate parent companies do not employ Curanaj and should not be named as defendants. Fox’s attorney stated that because neither 21st Century Fox nor Fox Entertainment employed Curanaj, has any contractual relationship with her, or manages the day to day conditions of her employment, they move for dismissal of all of Curanaj’s claims against them.” 21st Century Fox argues that Curanaj only alleged the sexual misconduct comments about Ailes into her complaint to gain media attention to her case.
Curanaj’s attorney responded that they are confident Fox’s motion will be denied and Curanaj will have her day in court.