Andrea Tantaros Is Back in Court Against Fox News


By Robert Jonathan

Andrea Tantaros, the Tied Up in Knots author, is still trying to tie the Fox News Channel up in court. With her huge fan-base popularity, Tantaros would have been the logical choice to replace Kimberly Guilfoyle as co-host of The Five after KG left the show to work on the Trump reelection campaign.

Unfortunately, Fox News had previously suspended Tantaros with pay in late April 2016 and evidently parted ways with her in October of that year. Except for a Good Morning America appearance, the ex-Outnumbered panelist has essentially been absent from television ever since.

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In February 2017, a judge sent Tantaros’ legal case against Fox News to private arbitration as apparently required by her employment agreement, but Tantaros is now trying to bring it back to open court.

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After a lot of legal wrangling, which Tantaros claims constitutes delaying tactics, the arbitration hearing still hasn’t taken place.

Tantaros sued FNC in August 2016 for sexual harassment and retaliation.

Parenthetically, in general, and including in a blue state, it’s difficult for an employee even with a legitimate grievance to get justice.

That being said, the circumstances of the political pundit’s departure still seem odd. Fox denied that Tantaros ever complained about sexual harassment. Instead, the network says the initial suspension came about because she failed to get approval for then newly published book Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable in violation of her employment contract.

That a Fox sister company would publish a book without making sure it was internally vetted seems to be a very unusual outcome. Perhaps it is possible in a massive corporate bureaucracy, however. Perhaps someday the actual story will emerge.

In any event, being sidelined during one of the most interesting presidential campaigns ever (and its aftermath) can’t be good for a political pundit’s career. She also lost the opportunity to promote the book on various Fox platforms.

 

Tantaros went back in court on July 15 to try to set aside the arbitration ruling based on a new law passed in Democrat-controlled New York, The Hollywood Reporter explained.

“She’s seizing upon a law enacted last year by New York lawmakers that ostensibly prevents sexual harassment claims from being arbitrated. In April 2018, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the law — Section 7515 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules — into effect. The move was hugely influenced by Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit against Fox News’ Roger Ailes, which before being settled, raised the prospect that she’d be forced into arbitration. The #MeToo movement sparked similar anti-arbitration statutes around the nation, but those have gone largely untested thus far. Tantaros alleges that she was subjected to demeaning comments about her body from Ailes, given a ‘graveyard’ on-air time slot when she rebuffed his advances, and also experienced sexual harassment from former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.”

THR observed that the Federal Arbitration Act, which favors arbitration than trials, may supersede the New York law. Moreover, laws seldom apply retroactively. On the other hand, Democrats have hardly been shy about weaponizing statutes in the form of selective enforcement to go after their opponents. Even though FNC has been moving left under the Murdoch bros, Democrats aren’t fans of the channel.

Tantaros has already spent a million bucks on legal fees according to her 19-page legal petition. This challenge to the arbitration clause in her contract, including a request for a temporary restraining order, will only prompt more litigation.

Last year, a judge threw out a second Andrea Tantaros lawsuit that charged Fox News with what might amount to cyberstalking.

A registered independent, Robert Jonathan is a longtime writer/editor for viral news aggregation websites with a focus on politics and other trending topics. He earned a Juris Doctorate degree from “a law school the basketball teams can be proud of.

Follow Robert Jonathan on Twitter @newseditor2010.

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