Antoinette Lattouf: Sacked ABC presenter lodges new Federal Court proceedings against national broadcaster

Sacked ABC presenter Antoinette Lattouf has lodged new legal proceedings against the national broadcaster over claims it breached its own workplace agreement by dismissing her.

The new legal action is in addition to Ms Latouf’s unlawful dismissal claim where she claims she was dumped from her role for sharing a Human Rights Watch social media post, and for racial discrimination.

Ms Lattouf’s new case against the ABC was lodged at the Federal Court last week.

She alleges the broadcaster repeatedly breached its own employee Enterprise Agreement by sacking her “without a proper basis and without due process”.

Ms Lattouf’s statement of claim alleges the ABC breached the agreement by terminating her employment for misconduct when she had not engaged in such behaviour, failed to advise her of the alleged misconduct and failed to advise her of the process determining whether the alleged misconduct was “substantiated”.

She is also claiming the broadcaster failed to give her an opportunity to respond or explain her actions.

Josh Bornstein, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers’ principal lawyer, said the alleged repeated failures to follow the agreement were a breach of the Fair Work Act.

“Antoinette Lattouf is the first Australian journalist to be sacked for communicating a fact, the very same fact that the ABC was reporting on,” he said in a statement.

“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.

Mr Bornstein alleged the ABC “flagrantly” ignored its legal obligations when it “panicked” and dismissed Ms Lattouf.

“Management made no attempt to comply with its own disciplinary regime,” he said.

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

The ABC has been contacted for comment.

Ms Lattouf, an award-winning journalist, made headlines after she was sacked from her role as a fill-in host for Sydney’s Mornings radio slot and ABC Sydney in December.

She has claimed she was dropped for sharing an Human Rights Watch Instagram post detailing allegations of the Israeli government is using starvation as a weapon of war in the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Ms Lattouf has claimed she was ordered to go because she expressed “a political opinion and also because of her race”.

But the ABC has denied this, stating a decision was made to “not require” her for the final two days of her five-day contract.

It has claimed she “failed or refused to comply” with directions to not post on social media about controversial matters for the time she was presenting.

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