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Antoinette Lattouf escalates ABC litigation to Federal Court

Antoinette Lattouf is suing the ABC in the Federal Court for “repeatedly breaching its own employee Enterprise Agreement (EA) by sacking her without a proper basis and without due process”.

This fresh case is in addition to Lattouf’s case at the Fair Work Commission, where she is suing the ABC for “allegedly sacking her because of both her political opinion and race”.

According to Maurice Blackburn Lawyers who released a statement today, the new claim lodged with the Federal Court states the ABC breached the EA by:

· Terminating her employment for misconduct when in fact, Ms Lattouf had not engaged in misconduct and had complied with guidance provided to her by management

· Failing to advise Ms Lattouf in writing of the nature of the alleged misconduct

· Failing to advise Ms Lattouf of the process to be undertaken by the ABC to determine whether the alleged misconduct was substantiated

· Failing to give the Ms Lattouf an opportunity to respond and/or explain her actions or inactions and any mitigating factors she sought to have taken into consideration, before any decision was made about whether the misconduct had occurred or a determination as to the appropriate penalty had been made

· Failing to advise Ms Lattouf that it considered the alleged misconduct was likely to constitute serious misconduct at the earliest opportunity, or at all

Maurice Blackburn principal lawyer Josh Bornstein said: “Antoinette Lattouf is the first Australian journalist to be sacked for communicating a fact; the very same fact that the ABC was reporting on.

“The ABC’s conduct was a textbook example of what can go wrong when an organisation applies brand management techniques instead of being guided by principle, proper process and legal obligations.”

Lattouf is seeking reinstatement, compensation, pecuniary penalties against the ABC and orders that ABC management undergo training to ensure they comply with their EA obligations.

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