Seven Former CBS Employees Settle Lawsuit Against Network
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Seven former CBS employees have settled their $14 million lawsuit against the network, which the women charged had allowed an atmosphere ″offensive and hostile″ to women to exist among the staff of its ″Nightwatch″ program, a CBS official said today.
The suit, filed in District of Columbia Superior Court last September, charged the network with violating the district’s Human Rights Act, sexual harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Each woman had asked for $1 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages.
Terms of the settlement were not announced.
″It was a nice settlement, mutually satisfied on both sides,″ Anita Lemonis, a former broadcast associate and a plaintiff in the suit, said in a telephone interview from Boston.
She declined to give any details of the settlement.
″The matter was amicably resolved,″ said Jack Smith, CBS News bureau chief in Washington, who also declined to provide any details.
The suit said CBS ″through its agents and servants, created and maintained a working environment in its ″Nightwatch″ program that was offensive and hostile to women employees, including the plaintiffs.″
″Nightwatch″ is an overnight news and interview show.
The suit also said several plaintiffs were discharged in August 1986 after ″speaking out against sexual discrimination and harassment.″
In addition to Ms. Lemonis, the plaintiffs in the suit were Amy Gutman, a former associate producer; Susan Balsam, who was a unit manager of the show; S. Beth Homan, a former assistant producer; Rachel Ray, a former broadcast associate; Laura J. Schwartz, a former assistant producer; and Marylynn Vosburgh, who was a personal secretary and administrative assistant.