A former London-based correspondent for Walt Disney Co.’s ABC News won a legal claim that he was fired for refusing to cover war zones, one of the first rulings in Britain arising from workplace-safety regulations.
Richard Gizbert, 47, sued ABC for unfair dismissal for firing him in 2004 after he rejected assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan, contrary to a policy that all war coverage was voluntary. An employment tribunal in London unanimously backed his case.
“What made the difference in the ultimate decision in respect of correspondents, and particularly the claimant, was whether or not they were prepared to go to war zones,” the tribunal said in a ruling sent to the parties yesterday. “The claimant was not prepared to do so and was therefore dismissed and replaced by someone who was clearly prepared to go.”