Newsreader sues Channel Seven after losing job while on maternity leave

by HCA18 Jan 2017
Channel Seven newsreader Talitha Cummins is suing the network for unfair dismissal after she was allegedly sacked from her role while on maternity leave.

The 36-year-old claims that soon after her son was born the network informed her that she would not be returning to the role she had held for three years.

Cummins had expected to return to her weekend newsreader role but was offered a weekday 5am time slot instead. However, that time slot was not appropriate given the recent birth of her son.

HC contacted Channel Seven for comment.

Cummins has lodged a general protections application in the Fair Work Commission. She alleged Channel Seven’s decision constituted an adverse action, according to The Guardian.

The case looks to be going towards conciliation before the commission in late January.

Prior to going on maternity leave, staff at Channel Seven seemed to be under the impression that Cummins was returning.

Co-host Monique Wright said on air: “We can’t wait for you to come back, it becomes very real now when you finish work”.

Moreover, fellow co-host Andrew O’Keefe told Cummins to “make sure you come back and have another baby, because that cake looks fantastic”.

Cummins has also been in the media spotlight for discussing her problems with alcoholism on the ABC’s Australian Story.

“I could hide my hangover and pretend everything was fine,” she said.

“At 6.30pm when I finished work, I’d go straight to the bottle shop and buy two bottles of wine. “I’d usually go back there later and buy another bottle or two.

“I’d drink myself into oblivion, but you can only maintain that lifestyle for so long.”

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