March 9, 2018 / 5:42 AM / 5 months ago

Fox News settles gender discrimination suit with female reporter -lawyer

March 8 (Reuters) - Journalist Diana Falzone has settled a gender discrimination lawsuit she filed against Fox News and left the company, her lawyer said on Thursday.

"Confirmed," her lawyer, Nancy Smith, tweeted to Reuters when asked if Falzone had reached a settlement and no longer worked at the television channel.

Fox News officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Smith's announcement, which was first reported by CNN. Fox denied Falzone's allegations after she filed her lawsuit in May, 2017.

In her complaint in New York state court, Falzone said she was abruptly taken off air by Fox News after writing an article in January 2017 about her struggle with endometriosis, a medical condition that would likely leave her infertile.

She said Fox, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, discriminated against her on the basis of sex and disability in violation of New York City law.

Fox executives decided she did not conform to their image of on-air women as "physically perfect" once she disclosed her condition, Smith said in a statement at the time.

In its June 23 response to Falzone's complaint, Fox said it maintained an equal employment, harassment-free work environment where personnel decisions were made on the basis of merit, and retaliation was prohibited against anyone who reported a discrimination claim.

Fox News has faced a number of legal claims that it ignored employees' complaints of sexual harassment and gender and race discrimination.

Bill O'Reilly, the network's most popular anchor, and former Fox News chief Roger Ailes both have been ousted over harassment claims by several women, which they deny.

Smith and Martin Hyman filed a sexual harassment lawsuit last year against Ailes on behalf of former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson. The lawsuit, which was settled for $20 million, led to Ailes' resignation after two decades as one of the most influential executives in cable television. (Reporting By Andrew Hay, additional reporting by Brendan Pierson; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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