In 2019, a journalist and editor at Polish Radio Rzeszów broadcast a critical comment by a listener referring to the President of Poland. The management board of the radio station then took a number of steps aimed at removing the journalist from the air. She filed suit against the station, alleging that the employer’s actions were not objectively justified and constituted discrimination, mobbing, and infringement of her personal interests. A few days later the editor was fired for misconduct.
In the view of the courts of both instances, the actions taken by the journalist displayed conscientiousness and did not infringe her duties as an employee. The journalist was serving as the acting chair of the workers’ council and was subject to special employment protection. The courts ruled that the journalist’s contract was terminated in violation of the regulations on special protection of the employment of members of the workers’ council. The journalist was awarded compensation for the time she was left unemployed, starting from June 2019.
At the request of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, the journalist was represented pro bono by Agnieszka Lisiecka, Katarzyna Żukowska, Dr Marcin Wujczyk and Aleksandra Wójcik from the firm’s Employment practice.
More on the foundation’s website.