Cricket Australia is facing a wrongful dismissal claim after is fired its Tasmanian public policy and government relations manager over tweets she made critical of the state government’s abortion policy.
Fairfax Media reports Angela Williamson, 39, was dismissed by Cricket Australia last month, just days after she’d met with a senior Tasmanian government official to discuss the lack of access to pregnancy termination services in the state.
Earlier this year, she’d travelled to Melbourne for a termination after Tasmania’s only publicly funded clinic closed.
She called the situation a disgrace on social media and her comment was sent to Cricket Australia in an email from a government staffer who was later forced to resign for operating a fake social media account targeting government critics.
In early June, Williamson met privately with a senior member of the government to discuss the issue and lobby for the return of services. A week later on June 13 the Tasmanian Parliament voted down a motion to re-establish abortion services in public hospitals and Williamson described the decision as “irresponsible… gutless and reckless” on Twitter.
She was called to a meeting with Cricket Australia on June 19. Ten days later the organisation wrote to her saying she’d lost the confidence of Cricket Tasmania and her services were terminated immediately.
“I was told the tweet had damaged my relationship with government,” she told Fairfax.
Williamson claims that a government member disclosed her termination to her employer. A spokesperson “refutes any allegation that it has disclosed private information”.
Fairfax has a copy of her dismissal letter, which says, in part, “Taking into account your most recent tweet on June 14, and the fact that Cricket Tasmania has now withdrawn its support, we have reached the conclusion that your continued employment with Cricket Australia is untenable”.
A claim against her dismissal has now been lodged with Fair Work Australia, with Williamson being represented by law firm Maurice Blackburn.
In a statement, Cricket Australia confirmed it ended Williamson’s employment in late June.
“The circumstances surrounding that decision are now the subject of legal proceedings and it would be inappropriate for Cricket Australia to publicly comment on Ms Williamson’s specific circumstances any further,” the statement said.
“We will continue to follow and respect the current process.
“Cricket Australia respects an individual’s right to their opinion. However, it expects that employees will refrain from making offensive comments that contravene the organisation’s social media policy.”
Fairfax Media has more on the matter here.