A claimant who spoke to a journalist while she was under oath during a break in her evidence has had her claim struck out for unreasonable conduct. Ms Chidzoy was a journalist who brought various claims against the BBC including whistleblowing and sex discrimination. During her cross-examination she was asked about an email referring to a story about the Dangerous Dogs Act which referred to her as ‘Sally Shitsu’ – a term she had objected to. The BBC responded that Ms Chidzoy had said that she would not have objected if she had been called ‘Sally Rottweiler.’ The use of those words was discussed during the tribunal proceedings.
The tribunal adjourned for a break and Ms Chidzoy was warned by the tribunal not to discuss her evidence or any aspect of the case with any person during the adjournment. During the break she was seen talking to another journalist and overheard using the words ‘dangerous dogs’ and ‘Rottweiler.’ The tribunal decided that Ms Chidzoy’s disregard for its instruction not to discuss the case meant that its trust in her was irreparably damaged. This amounted to unreasonable conduct and it struck out her claim. The Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed. If you face tribunal proceedings you should remind your witnesses not to discuss their evidence during the hearing.
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