Michelle Guthrie, the unceremoniously deposed ex-Managing Director of the ABC, is set to her former employer to court on allegations of wrongful dismissal, stemming from the shambolic method in which she was summarily ousted from the broadcaster’s top job.
Guthrie lodged the paperwork at the start of the week, with spokespeople confirming the case is now with the Fair Work Commission, however the amount of damages being sought in the case is not known at this stage.
The claim alleges that Guthrie’s termination by the ABC was in violation of the Fair Work Act; legal action that Guthrie had hinted at taking in the immediate aftermath of her sacking on September 24th.
Guthrie was almost exactly halfway through her appointed five-year term as the Managing Director of the ABC at the time of her sacking, a decision which left her “devastated.” Guthrie asserted that she believed there was “no justification” for the board to trigger the termination clause in her contract.
Her tenure as the ABC’s head was marred with various controversies, particularly concerning repeated Coalition Government-backed attacks on the public broadcaster.
The aftermath of the sacking saw the ABC throw into turmoil, with allegations that now-former chairman Justin Milne, who removed himself from the position amid the resulting furore, clashed frequently, and that he was acting on the behest of senior government officials; a clear contravention of the ABC’s independence charter.
Guthrie reportedly circulating documents among the ABC board two days prior to her sacking that laid the groundwork for a looming legal challenge, noting any potential sacking would be vigorously contested.
The ABC has only issued a brief statement on Guthrie’s legal action, asserting that “the details of the claim are not a matter of public record.”