Black reporter alleges discrimination by TV station

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a federal lawsuit against an Oklahoma City television station on behalf of a black female reporter who alleges racial and gender discrimination.

The EEOC filed the suit Wednesday against KOKH-25 and parent company Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. alleging on-air reporter Phyllis Williams received a lower salary than comparable white female reporters and male reporters of all races.

Williams, who is black, has worked at the Fox affiliate since it began news operations in 1996.

Barry Faber, vice president and general counsel for Baltimore-based Sinclair, said the company had not yet seen the lawsuit. Faber said based on his knowledge of the facts, the allegations are "completely baseless."

"We intend to fight the lawsuit vigorously," Faber said.

The lawsuit also alleges Williams was not offered an employment contract until several months after she filed a discrimination charge with the commission in 2005. Rebecca Stith, a senior trial attorney in the commission's St. Louis, Mo., office, said other reporters at KOKH routinely were offered employment contracts.

(Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)