Former Sunrise news presenter Talitha Cummins has confirmed she is taking Channel 7 to the Federal Court of Australia on the claim of unfair dismissal.
“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 in a statement released on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately we have not been able to reach anything like a reasonable settlement."
Trouble began for Cummins last year when nine weeks after the birth of her first child, Oliver, she was informed by Seven's news chief that her weekend presenter contract would not be renewed. The news came following her maternity leave departure, at which time she had been assured that she had a position to return back to.
Listen: Knowing your maternity leave rights are just the beginning when it comes to pregnancy.
Following the news, Cummins was then offered a position reading the 5 am weekday news - a role that would require her to be on set at 2 am each day and away from her newborn for much of the week.
Given the unsuitability of the role with her new parenting schedule, Cummins believes she was forced out of the station.
"The issue at stake is an important one, not only for me but for many women, as I’ve observed in practice," Cummins pointed out in her statement.
The 36-year-old continued, “Many aren’t in a position to defend their workplace rights. I’m in the fortunate position where I can. I also have a child now and I feel it’s important to set an example for him about respect for women in the workplace.”
Cummins' lawyers served the television network with a legal notice of intention to pursue her claim in the Federal Court on Tuesday after meditation through the Fair Work Commission broke down.
More to come.
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