Employment Tribunal accepts jurisdiction over claims brought by international correspondent against CNN
On 11 August 2023, Employment Judge Klimov issued a 52-page judgment in which he set out the reasons why the London Central Employment Tribunal had jurisdiction to determine discrimination and unfair dismissal claims brought by British presenter and international correspondent, Saima Mohsin, against CNN.
Saima is a well-known British Pakistani journalist who has been a familiar face on the BBC, GMTV, ITV & Channel 4 news in the UK. However, while working for CNN she suffered a life-changing injury while on assignment in 2014 to report on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Her cameraman drove over her foot in a two-ton jeep, crushing her foot and leaving her with extensive soft tissue damage and a crippling neuropathic pain condition.
She alleges that she requested alternative duties or reduced hours and support for rehabilitation with an integrated back to work plan to adjust to her disability, but CNN refused. As an established and accomplished presenter, she asked CNN if she could present to reduce her time on the road. Instead, while she was on medical leave in 2017, CNN terminated her contract.
CNN sought to deny that British courts had jurisdiction to determine her claims. It denied that the territorial jurisdiction of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Equality Act 2010 stretched to her claims on the basis of an insufficient connection with British law, and further denied that the Tribunal had international jurisdiction, either through the Recast Brussels Regulation or domestic rules.
However, the Employment Tribunal disagreed. It held that the Claimant had demonstrated a sufficient connection with the UK for her unfair dismissal claim and discrimination claims (insofar as they occurred after 1 March 2017) to be heard in the UK. It further agreed with the Claimant that she was able to satisfy both the Brussels Regulation and domestic principles of international jurisdiction.
Saima was represented by Paras Gorasia in the jurisdiction hearing, who was assisted by Finnian Clarke. Saima is also advised by Jen Robinson in respect of the media issues arising out of her claims.
Read the judgment here.
A sample of press reporting can be found here:
New York Post: https://nypost.com/2023/07/10/ex-cnn-
Business Recorder: https://www.brecorder.com/news/40251833
The case has also been widely reported in the international media, see here:
Previous discussion of the case on the Doughty Street website can be found here: https://www.doughtystreet.co.uk/news/former-cnn-correspondent-brings-claims-unfair-dismissal-and-discrimination