The CBC “acted improperly” by shooting a reporter who leaked to the news site, forcing the network to pick up a tweet criticizing broadcaster Dan Cherry. A referee ruled.
Referee Lorne Sladnik wrote in his letter to the CBC’s Manitoba newsroom that Ahmar Khan, who had worked as a temporary reporter / editor for a year before being fired in December 2019, now has the right to be re-employed for at least four months or receive four months’ compensation.
“The manner in which he publishes an internal CBC decision ordering the removal of a tweet is, in my view, not intended to harm the CBC or its reputation, as there is to any other public opinion of the CBC staff, nor is there any evidence that it did so,” Slatnick wrote.
The CBC claimed that Khan was fired – not because of the tweet – but because it was found he had done it online for leaks and homosexuality and other derogatory comments.
But Slatnik considered those reasons to be “a little blind to the maximum” and “largely concealed” by the privacy breach that exposed Khan’s activities.
“As a result, my conclusion is that the CBC acted improperly by dismissing him for a reason,” Slotnick wrote.
When contacted by email, Khan declined to comment on the decision. He tweeted a word – “proven” – early Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, in a statement, the CBC reiterated that its actions against Khan were “not related to his tweet regarding Don Cherry”.
The network added: “As noted in the judgment, our actions are not discriminatory and do not violate human rights law.”
Cherry was fired in November 2019 after the explosion Hockey Night in Canada In it the controversial commentator spoke about Memorial Day and “the people who come here” – his anger at immigrants – and don’t wear poppies.
Khan was outraged by Cherry’s comments and tweeted that it was his Coach’s Corner The section should be canceled. He said Cherry’s “genophobic comments aired weekly are bad.”
When the CBC management learned of Khan’s tweet, it was told that it violated the policy of commenting journalists, according to Slotnik’s ruling.
Khan, then 23, was asked to delete the tweet, which he did without hesitation, and the results show that he was not disciplined for what he did.
But Khan testified to the administration that the CBC’s policies were being used selectively and to the detriment of color journalists, according to his testimony, which lasted seven days in several months last year.
He testified that he was not satisfied with the responses he received from management, and decided to send the story to the news site Canadaland, which published the story on November 14.
Khan testified that he was inconsistent in what he was saying to Canada, but felt the need for a discussion about race and the CBC and how its press policies were, in his view, silencing color staff.
In late November, another CBC correspondent, Austin Grabisch, used a shared corporate laptop used by Khan to discover that Khan’s personal Twitter and WhatsApp accounts were still logged in, and to find messages that Khan had admitted to contacting Canada.
In another report, the CBC referred to the Khan administration as “Azols” for accusing it of violating press policies.
Khan sent a message to McLean’s newspaper columnist Andre Domis, who later released a tweet saying that the CBC had deleted the original tweet from Khan.
Grabish found in some news that he believed homosexuality in the ruling states.
Grabish says he was “shocked and disappointed” by homosexuality and the “thread of misinformation about the CBC.”
“As a homosexual, I know what marginalization is, and I grew up repeating that I was subject to regular homosexuality and bullying because of my sexual orientation,” he said in a statement Thursday.
Grabish aired his findings to management, and on December 3, 2019, Conn concluded that, “Cherry was fired for contacting outdoor sales outlets about the order to delete the tweet, and for the CBC management and its defamatory comments.”
He was quoted for having a homosexual encounter on WhatsApp, where the verdict says his profile identified him as a CBC employee.
According to the verdict, Khan testified that the alleged slanders among friends were humorous and reiterated that position in an email sent to the CBC on Thursday.
“A friend and I make fun of a friend who uses that word, in an attempt to tell him not to use that language in an insulting and hurtful way,” Grabish quoted him as writing about homosexuality.
The union representing Canada, the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), has filed a complaint on his behalf, alleging that the CBC violated the Canadian Labor Code., The Privacy Act, Canadian Human Rights Law and Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
It argued that Khan had a reasonable expectation that his messages, even if they were on a company laptop, were personal and should not be used by management in the decision to shoot him.
The union said it did not want Khan to retaliate or embarrass anyone, but called for a public debate on the CBC’s press policies and how they are silencing color workers.
In his judgment, Slatnik said that Khan had a reasonable expectation of privacy for his messages and that his right to privacy had been violated, which “tarnished the whole process that led to his termination”.
Slotnik agreed with the union that “if employees lose their jobs for criticizing their employers personally – even on a crude basis – this country will face a severe labor shortage.”
Watch | Cherry regrets the choice of words:
He also rejected the notion that the CBC’s reputation had been tarnished.
“In a situation where controversy over the nature of the product and the nature of the product is natural, it is my opinion that it is an unsubstantiated leap of logic to claim that Mr. Khan’s actions in relation to a tweet somehow affected the CBC’s reputation,” he wrote.
Kim Trinacity, CMG’s CBC branch head, said the union was pleased with the verdict, which “confirmed the legitimate expectation of personal privacy” for employees.
“To address these grievances, CMG should always focus on how the Khan administration has handled and how it has handled the situation of a racist temporary employee,” he said in a statement.
“Management has failed to live up to Khan’s reasonable expectations of privacy, which is a clear violation of our collective agreement.”