The case of the Tasmanian woman sacked by Cricket Australia after making “offensive comments” about abortion on social media will be referred to the Federal Court after failed mediation on Friday.
Angela Williamson was dismissed from her government relations role in Hobart in June for what Cricket Australia said were “offensive comments” and a “disparaging tone” in Twitter posts.
Ms Williamson had travelled to Victoria to have a pregnancy terminated at her own expense after the closure of Tasmania’s only private provider in January. On Twitter, she criticised the state government’s lack of abortion services, and was subsequently dismissed.
Her case was the subject of conciliation at the Fair Work Commission on Friday, but could not be resolved.
“I am disappointed the case didn’t resolve today, but I am prepared to continue my fight in the Federal Court,” Ms Williamson said in a statement released by her lawyers.
“I spoke my mind on a political issue because I believe strongly in the reproductive health rights of women.”
— Samantha Maiden (@samanthamaiden) August 17, 2018
Cricket Australia said on Friday morning that Ms Williamson had been offered a new position as communications manager, but had refused it.
“As a result, Ms Williamson won’t be returning to CA,” it said.
“The organisation is standing by its decision in late June to dismiss Ms Williamson after she published disparaging comments in social media, rendering her Tasmanian government relations manager role untenable.”
CA boss James Sutherland said he was disappointed Ms Williamson did not accept the new job.
“We have reflected on Angela’s dismissal and been empathetic to her personal circumstances and the sensitivity of the underlying issues,” he said.
“While this is a difficult matter with many aspects and layers, it’s important that in our leadership of cricket in this country, we continue to be guided and influenced by our values.
“Our values focus heavily on demonstrating appropriate behaviours and showing respect to members and stakeholders of our diverse community all the time.”
Ms Williamson’s lawyer, Kamal Faroque, said the job offer was made a fortnight ago. She had refused it because she wanted her old job back.
“We will now continue the case in the Federal Court to determine that she should not have lost her job for expressing an opinion,” he said.
On Thursday, police said they would not investigate whether Tasmanian Health Minister Michael Ferguson played an illegal role in Ms Williamson’s dismissal, after calls from the state opposition.
Mr Ferguson issued a statement on Friday saying he welcomed the finding from police.
“As I have said all along, I absolutely refute any claims that I passed on private medical records or any information that was not in the public domain.”
“I simply cannot have done so as I do not have access to Ms Williamson’s private medical information,” Mr Ferguson said.
Tasmanian health minister just released this on Cricket Australia abortion tweet dismissal: says Williamson shared her story with BuzzFeed and identified herself as the former staffer on Twitter in March and so, Ferguson says, he can't be accused of disclosing private information pic.twitter.com/ktdSOO3RL9
— Gina Rushton (@ginarush) August 17, 2018
Ms Williamson has previously accused Mr Ferguson of accessing her private health information and leaking it to her employer.