The Seven Network has rejected allegations it sacked a cadet journalist because she made a sexual harassment complaint against a male colleague.
Seven’s alleged treatment of Adelaide newsroom cadet Amy Taeuber was the subject of a report on the ABC’s 7.30 program on Monday night,
It aired an audio recording of a meeting in which management suspended Ms Taeuber ahead of an investigation into allegations made against her.
The meeting came shortly after Ms Taeuber lodged a sexual harassment complaint against a staff member.
Ms Taeuber is heard saying she feels like the allegations made against her are “humiliating me … for making a complaint in the first place”.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Seven Network parent company Seven West Media said Ms Taeuber had not been sacked because she made a complaint about someone but had been dismissed because of a breach of contract – something not covered in the recorded meeting.
“The program broadcast on 7.30 on Monday night on the ABC was neither accurate nor balanced,” the statement said.
Seven said Ms Taeuber’s employment was not terminated during the telephone call which was broadcast on 7.30 but weeks after and following “meetings and discussions when the former employee was represented by two successive firms of lawyers and the union.”
The network said it was “surprised” by the ABC report as the dismissal had been subject to mediation that resulted in “a cash settlement and a confidential deed of release” with Ms Taeuber.
Seven West Media also said 7.30 had not put the allegations to the network before broadcasting them – a claim rejected by the program’s presenter Leigh Sales, who said on Twitter that Seven had been approached for comment.
In its statement Seven West Media also said Ms Taeuber’s harassment complaint had been fully investigated and “resolved” after a public apology was issued by the colleague, and that it was not raised by her law firms at the time of her employment termination.