Fox News has urged its employees to report instances of misconduct following a New York Times report that revealed payouts host Bill O’Reilly made to settle allegations of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior.
An internal memo sent to staff by a Fox News human resources official implored employees to report misconduct to HR or to the law firm handling investigations of harassment within the cable news network.
“In light of some of the accounts published over the last few days, I wanted to re-emphasize the message we have been conveying at our training sessions for several months,” executive vice president of human resources Kevin Lord said in the memo obtained by Business Insider. Lord listed several contacts for employees to reach out to including Fox News General Counsel Dianne Brandi, 21st Century Fox officials and the law firm.
Lord sent the memo after the Times report detailed that O’Reilly or 21st Century Fox have paid $13 million to five women since 2002 over complaints made against the host “in exchange for agreeing to not pursue litigation or speak about their accusations against him.”
O’Reilly on Saturday responded to the report by saying he is “vulnerable to lawsuits.” The network has stood by him, but at least one major advertiser has already pulled its ads from his show, The O’Reilly Factor.
The note to employees comes as 21st Century Fox is still dealing with the fallout of sexual harassment charges against former Fox News head Roger Ailes, who left the company last summer. The company reportedly also fired executive Francisco Cortes following a sexual assault complaint and settled more than $2.5 million with his accuser.