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Cricket Australia settles case with woman sacked over abortion comments

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Cricket Australia has avoided the potential of an expensive court battle by settling their case with former employee Angela Williamson who was sacked follow tweets about abortion.

Last month, Williamson was heavily critical of Tasmania’s Health Minister Michael Ferguson for his comments on the state’s abortion policy, calling his comments “irresponsible, gutless and reckless”, which led to Cricket Australia claiming she had breached their social media policy.

The decision generated significant international headlines and raised questions about the extent of freedom employees had to express political opinions without endangering their employment.

Williamson, who had initially rejected an alternate job offer from Cricket Australia to pursue her case in Federal Court, had made strong allegations about the role Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman played in her sacking. Hodgman maintained he had not played any role in Williamson’s dismissal.

In confirming the case had been settled out of court, Cricket Australia did not give any other details.

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“Following ongoing discussions, Cricket Australia, Cricket Tasmania and Angela Williamson have been able to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the matter,” a spokesman said.

Williamson had been compelled to fly to Melbourne from Hobart to have a surgical abortion earlier this year due to not being able to access the service in Tasmania. She had been employed by Cricket Tasmania for 18 months at the time of her dismissal, and had, prior to working for Cricket Australia, held a job as a government relations manager in Tasmania.

Williamson had sought compensation for loss of income, humiliation, damage to her reputation, anxiety and distress.

“I spoke my mind on a political issue because I believe strongly in the reproductive health rights of Tasmanian women,” Williamson had said around the time of her dismissal. “I am disappointed the case wasn’t resolved today but I am prepared to continue my fight in the Federal Court.”

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