A former Port Adelaide football club captain and TV sports presenter is claiming he should be compensated almost $6 million for missing out of future employment with Channel 9 Adelaide.
- Warren Tredrea is seeking millions in damages over his dismissal from Channel 9 Adelaide
- He left the job after refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine
- The legal dispute is likely to be resolved before it reaches trial
Warren Tredrea is suing his former employer after the broadcaster dismissed him for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccination.
Court documents filed to the Federal Court of Australia by Mr Tredrea’s legal team claimed the clauses that terminated his contract were “unfair or harsh”.
But Channel 9 argued that the presenter behaved in a way that could damage its reputation or business interests.
Yesterday, the media personality’s lawyers said the parties were likely to reach a resolution before the case reaches trial.
Mr Tredrea was terminated from his $192,500-a-year job on January 4, 2022.
Prior to his termination, the sports presenter was given a month-long extension to get his COVID-19 vaccination.
In court documents, Mr Tredrea’s legal team claimed that there was low risk of serious illness from the Delta or Omicron variant of the virus and the long term safety of COVID vaccines remained unknown.
They also argued that workplace practices Channel 9 adopted, like masks wearing and rapid antigen testing, were equally effective, if not more effective, than vaccinations.
Mr Tredrea claimed he should be paid out the remainder of his salary in 2022 — $176,458.32 — and compensated for the loss of opportunity to renew his contract for up to 30 years, which equates to $5.775 million.
Channel 9 responded that it had grounds to terminate Mr Tredrea’s services under the Work Health and Safety Act to provide a safe workplace for other employees.
The broadcaster argued it was “serious misconduct” when Mr Tredrea expressed his opinion against COVID vaccination on Adelaide radio station 5AA in September, calling the vaccination push “discriminatory”.
It said his radio comments had caused reputational damage to Channel 9 and undermined the trust viewers placed in the broadcaster.
The employer also argued that Mr Tredrea was unable to performed his job as a sports presenter from November when some sports venues and football clubs had restricted those unvaccinated from entry.
“The conduct of [Mr Tredrea] in his failure to comply with the directions, in [Channel 9’s] opinion, could have caused damage to the reputation and business interests of [Channel 9],” the documents claimed.
Channel 9 responded that damages to Mr Tredrea should be limited to one month’s pay.
The matter returns to court next year.