Former Al Jazeera executive loses discrimination case

A former Al Jazeera executive has lost her £1m tribunal case for unfair dismissal and discrimination against the TV channel.

An employment tribunal ruled against Jo Burgin, employed as head of planning in the international news channel’s Doha headquarters between 2005 and 2007. She had brought claims of unfair dismissal and discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, and religion or belief.

Burgin worked at Al Jazeera alongside her husband, Steve Clark, who was director of news. This tribunal heard that this situation became untenable as staff felt Burgin’s management style was influenced by her relationship with Clark.

As a result she was offered a role in a different department, which Burgin declined to take, and her two-year contract with Al Jazeera was not renewed in April 2007.

“This is an important victory for Al Jazeera, and publicly clears its name of any discrimination against an employee,” says Anas Al Merstani, head of the firm’s legal department. “As a global organisation with offices in over 100 countries, we welcome people from all walks of life, and will strenuously contest claims that we do not.”

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