Michelle Guthrie wants to be reinstated as boss of the ABC, according to court documents.
Guthrie is also seeking compensation for losses and damages, claiming the board of the public broadcaster unlawfully dismissed her half way through her five year contract.
Furthermore, she wants the court to order penalties imposed on the ABC and its board members, including ex-chairman Justin Milne.
Michelle Guthrie wants her job back
Her affidavits allege “inappropriate conduct” by Milne and interventions into editorial matters.
For example, text messages, letters and emails between the former managing director and board members.
Guthrie claims Milne pressured her to sack journalists the government didn’t like.
She also claims Milne touched her inappropriately during a work dinner.
She outlined her concerns in a dossier sent to the board – and claims this was the reason behind her dismissal.
Guthrie previously filed a claim in the Fair Work Commission, however, the matter remained unresolved following mediation.
The court action comes despite Guthrie receiving an $800,000 termination payment.
What the ABC says
An ABC spokeswoman denied any link between Guthrie’s sacking and her previous formal complaints.
“This is not correct.
“Ms Guthrie was dismissed because the board had lost confidence in her.
“She was not dismissed because of any complaints she’d made.”
What the experts say
Miles Heffernan, Litigation Director at IR Claims, says it is is unlawful to sack a worker who makes a complaint about sexual harassment.
“If Ms Guthrie complained about the alleged harassment prior to her sacking, and can show the two events are connected, she will have a case,” he said.
“The law allows employees to ask questions about their pay or their working conditions without fear of adverse action.
“They are also allowed to make complaints about discrimination or sexual harassment without facing dismissal, demotion or other punishment.”
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