Ex-employee brings new legal case on Seven

Seven is facing another legal case with a former employee, news presenter Talitha Cummins, suing the network claiming she was sacked whilst on maternity leave.

Cummins (pictured, left) says she agreed to take the job of reading the news on Weekend Sunrise for $1400 a week in a conversation with CEO Tim Worner in January 2014.

She alleges that in October, while she was on maternity leave, Seven news director Craig McPherson told her she would not be going back to her job when she returned to work in February. Instead, he allegedly offered her the position of 5am newsreader at the same weekly rate, which required a 2am start for the young mum.

At the same time she was receiving praise for an ABC Australian Story episode about her battle with alcoholism.

But Seven says she was only a casual, wasn’t entitled to leave and had ceased work with the company in July 2016.

“Ms Cummins was employed as a casual newsreader at the Seven Network,” a spokesman said.

“She was offered a network newsreader role, with fewer hours and the same pay. [She] was given over two months to determine whether she wanted the new role but decided not to take up the offer.

“Ms Cummins was never dismissed and was never required to work at 2am as contended in the claim.

“It is disappointing Ms Cummins would continue this matter and we will strongly defend our position.”

“I have never wanted any bad blood with my former employer, and I have tried to settle this matter in a manner that recognises my rights under the law,” Cummins said.

“Unfortunately we have not been able to reach anything like a reasonable settlement. The issue at stake is an important one, not only for me but for many women, as I’ve observed in practice.

The new lawsuit comes as Seven battles former executive assistant Amber Harrison and follows its settlement of a legal stoush with Adelaide-based reporter Amy Taeuber over alleged sexual harassment.

Source: Fairfax, The Australian, Daily Telegraph

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