Win For Richard Gizbert: “Ex-ABC News Reporter Wins U.K. Unfair-Dismissal Claim”

By Brian 

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“A British employment tribunal ruled Friday that ABC News unfairly dismissed a reporter last year because he refused to work in Iraq,” the AP reports. “The tribunal upheld a complaint by Richard Gizbert, who claimed ABC ended his freelance contract last year because he would not cover the war in Iraq, where foreigners, including journalists, have been targeted for kidnapping and murder.

ABC argued it didn’t renew Gizbert’s contract for budgetary reasons.” Gizbert is seeking $4 million in compensation. “The tribunal plans to rule on that issue early next year.”

“This ruling amounts to a vindication for an individual, it amounts to an indictment for one particular company, ABC News/Disney, and it’s a warning to other news organizations that your voluntary war zone policy has to mean what it says,” Gizbert said.

ABC News spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said the network would “vigorously appeal.” “This is a matter of principle for us,” he said. “Mr. Gizbert was not dismissed because he wouldn’t go to a war zone. It has always been our long-standing policy that these assignments are voluntary and that is understood by all the people who we work with.”

(Headline via Bloomberg)

> Also: The case has highlighted not just the new dangers faced by war correspondents but the difficult relationship such situations can lead to with their employers,” the BBC says.