Former RTÉ journalist fails in €300,000 harassment discrimination claim against broadcaster

Former RTÉ journalist fails in €300,000 harassment discrimination claim against broadcaster

Katarzyna (Kasia) Czernik, a journalist has seen her €300,000 sexual harassment discrimination claim against RTÉ dismissed.

Kasia, is a former RTE journalist, worked as a multimedia journalist with the national broadcaster for five years before resigning in March 2022

Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) adjudicator Maria Kelly said the lawsuit was dismissed as RTÉ took “swift action” when Kasia made her complaint.

In her claim, Kasia was seeking €300,000 compensation and of this, €150,000 is for being forced to end her professional career with RTÉ.


The remaining €150,000 part of her compensation claim was for the mental, emotional, and physical impact the harassment had on Kasia.

The adjudicator Maria Kelly noted that while Kasia was sexually harassed by a male colleague in the newsroom, RTÉ could not be found liable.

She said RTÉ did not discriminate against Kasia on the ground of gender or sexual harassment under the Employment Equality Act, 1998.

She added that Kasia was not subject to adverse treatment arising from making her complaint.


According to MSN, Kasia was harassed by małe newsroom colleague Noel Fogarty who was in turn dismissed in November 2021.

WRC satisfied that RTÉ took such steps as are reasonably practicable to prevent Kasia’s colleague from sexually harassing her.

In response to being informed of the harassment, RTE provided support through the Employee Assistance Programme; appointed an investigative board within four days of the formal complaint and implemented the recommendation of the board.

RTÉ also supported the former employee through its sick leave policy that provided her paid sick leave from 30 June 2021.


Kasia and Fogarty worked night shifts in the newsroom in June 2021, writing and broadcasting news bulletins overnight.

It was during this period that Kasia was harassed over three days, commencing on 18 June 2021.

The former journalist considered the content of the text messages, WhatsApp messages and emails from Fogarty between 18 and 21 June 2021 to be very inappropriate.

She asked him not to send her these types of messages, however, Fogarty tried to contact her by phone.

One message sent by Fogarty 10 days before Kasia's wedding read “My home and bedroom will be open to you,” with another message offering Czernik a spare key.

Kasia's wedding was due to take place at the end of June 2021 and she became very stressed by the contacts from Fogarty and had trouble sleeping which in turn forced her to cancel her honeymoon.

The complainant stated that she wants justice after what happened to her and the incident changed her and took away her confidence and trust in people.

Kasia believes the harassment effectively ruined her professional career as a journalist with RTÉ.

Mr Fogarty had admitted sending the messages and that he was "inebriated" as a result of his alcohol addiction for many of them.

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