Antoinette Lattouf puts pressure on ABC to produce evidence of her dismissal

Antoinette Lattouf is putting pressure on the ABC to produce a number of documents relating to her unlawful termination case with the Fair Work Commission.

As her case against her former employer continues, Lattouf’s lawyer, Josh Bornstein, has indicated that any evidence of communications relating to her dismissal would assist in assessing whether Lattouf was in fact sacked from her temporary role hosting the public broadcaster’s Sydney Mornings radio program in December.

Bornstein last week placed an application with the Fair Work Commission requesting the ABC to produce a range of documents created between 15 December and 23 December that regard communications made about Lattouf by between the following:

“(a) David Anderson and any other person;
(b) Ita Buttrose and any other person;
(c) a leading barrister who agitated for M Latouff’s dismissal and any ABC employee;
(d) employees of the Respondent and a journalist of The Australian newspaper.”

According to Lattouf’s camp, the ABC has since objected to producing many of the documents.

“The ABC is a crucial institution in Australia charged with exposing and reporting the facts,” said Bornstein. “Sadly, in this case, it is resisting transparency by seeking to block access to important information about this legal dispute, which has become a matter of intense public interest.”

The request for the documents follows reports that a member of a lobby group that pressured the ABC to sack Lattouf was advised by ABC chair Ita Buttrose that Lattouf no longer worked at the ABC on 20 December 2023.

In the time since Lattouf first launched her unfair dismissal case, the ABC has since claimed that Lattouf’s employment was not ended before the expiration of her contract on 22 December 2023.

Lattouf and Bornstein last month expanded the journalist’s Fair Work Complaint against the ABC, alleging that her untimely removal from a summer radio gig was motivated in part by her ethnicity.

“The claim has now been amended to reflect that Antoinette Lattouf alleges that she was sacked by the ABC because she expressed a political opinion and also because of her race. Since October 7 and the ensuing conflict in the Middle East, it has become notorious in the media industry that Arab and Muslim journalists are being intimidated, censored and sacked,” said Bornstein in a statement shared by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers earlier this month.

Lattouf was told she would not be returning for the final two days of her week long contract hosting ABC’s Sydney Mornings program in December, after she reshared a Human Rights Watch post to her Instagram story.

The public broadcaster attributed the decision to the ABC’s strict editorial guidelines, however, Lattouf’s camp has argued that this policy is not applied consistently for white journalists employed by the public broadcaster.

The ABC is being represented in the case by notorious anti-union law firm Seyfarth Shaw, which the ABC engaged as of 8 January 2024, a week before it filed its defence.


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