With all the high-profile men in media and show business who have seen their careers decimated by allegations of sexual harassment and assault in recent years, many people may have forgotten about Charlie Rose. The veteran journalist was fired both by CBS and PBS in November 2017 after multiple women accused him of inappropriate conduct.
Three women are still attempting to keep their lawsuit against Rose alive using the New York City Human Rights Law. The women already reached a settlement with CBS, where Rose was one of the anchors of CBS This Morning until his firing.
However, Rose is still fighting them. His attorneys have attempted to get the suit dismissed, arguing that what the women claim to be sexual harassment is nothing more than “routine workplace interactions and banter.” They say the women haven’t alleged any actionable conduct.
One of Rose’s attorneys, in a recent statement, called the women’s claims “baseless.” She said, “Mr. Rose did not physically or verbally sexually harass these Plaintiffs. He did not pursue sexual activity with any of these Plaintiffs. He did not discriminate against any these Plaintiffs.”
At the time of his dismissal by the two networks, however, the then-75-year-old said, “I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.”
One of the women says that Rose “would constantly touch me and squeeze me in a dominating and degrading manner.” Another woman says that Rose would undress in front of her and one of the other plaintiffs. She says, “Submission to Rose’s conduct was a term and condition of my employment.”
The attorney for the women says New York courts have been at the forefront of fighting sexual harassment in the workplace, including “isolated, gender-based comments and conduct.”
Attitudes and laws regarding what constitutes sexual harassment have evolved considerably. Words and actions that might have been acceptable — or at least not actionable — in past decades are now grounds for termination and potential legal action. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, it’s wise to find out what your legal rights are.