Pakistan-origin British television presenter Saima Mohsin on Tuesday was allowed by a London court to pursue her case against her former employer, American broadcaster CNN for "unfair dismissal, disability and race discrimination".
Mohsin had in July filed a suit in London's Central Employment Tribunal. CNN, which is owned by Warner Bros. and Discovery, had contested the ability of the London tribunal to hear the case on jurisdictional grounds.
News publication Deadline reported on Tuesday that Judge Klimov approved Mohsin's application following last month's preliminary hearing. Her case will now be put before a full tribunal at the London Central Employment Tribunal. A date for that hearing is yet to be determined but will review issues of dismissal, disability discrimination, victimization, failure to make reasonable adjustments, and equal pay in relation to claims after March 1, 2017. A separate claim of racial discrimination was adjudged to fall outside of this period of consideration; hence that charge will not be put before the tribunal.
Publication Deadline stated that CNN had declined to comment on the matter.
I won! I won the hearing against CNN— Saima Mohsin (@SaimaMohsin) August 15, 2023
Employment Tribunal will hear my case on unfair dismissal #disability discrimination & #equalpay in London
Thank you for all your support. Truly
It has helped me get through this https://t.co/xv9fsabG1C
CNN has disputed Mohsin's case on territorial grounds, contending that a tribunal in the UK did not have jurisdiction to hear her claims.
Mohsin claims she was unfairly dismissed by the Atalanta-based news network while she was nursing herself back to health after being injured while on the job.
Mohsin said that in 2014, she had been deputed for reporting in Jerusalem, Israel, a flashpoint for journalists -- including those from Western countries, as was the case of Shireen Abu Akhleh -- when she suffered an accident.
The anchor said that her cameraman ran over her foot with a car, causing severe tissue damage in her foot that has left her with a struggle to sit, stand or walk. It prompted her to pause work full-time.
Subsequently, Mohsin says she requested CNN to assign her alternative duties and sought rehabilitation support. The journalist says both of her requests were allegedly denied by CNN. A subsequent request to switch to a presenting role to reduce the travel times involved was also denied with the explanation: "You don't have the look we are looking for".
She further claimed that her managers chose to put white American correspondents and presenters on air even though she was ready to go live.
The channel terminated her contract three years later.
Mohsin said that she decided to file a claim with the employment tribunal.
"I worked hard to become an international correspondent and loved my job with CNN. I risked my life many times on assignments for CNN, believing they would have my back. They did not," Mohsin had said before the preliminary hearing.
Mohsin claims that the case was a last resort, noting that she had set terms for discussions on settling the matter out of the courts, something CNN has opted not to take up.
"I have constantly offered reinstatement or mediation and negotiations," Mohsin said in a statement, adding, "I didn't ask for this battle while learning to deal with an invisible disability and rebuild my life. But it was important I take a stand."
Mohsin, who now works freelance for Sky News, said her case raises questions about protections for journalists and the treatment of those with a disability suffered while on the job.
Mohsin did not have a solicitor but is being represented by barristers Paras Gorasia and Jennifer Robinson of Doughty Street Chambers, the same lawyers who represented a Pakistan-origin cricketer at the heart of the cricket discrimination scandal.