Israel Folau To Sue Rugby Australia For 'Wrongful Termination'
Sacked rugby union player Israel Folau will take Rugby Australia to court over what his representatives have called his "unlawful termination".
Folau’s legal representatives confirmed that applications have been filed with the Fair Work Commission to deal with Folau’s unlawful termination dispute, after Folau was sacked last month for breaching the professional players' Code of Conduct.
The sacking occurred after a social media post in which Folau said homosexuals (and others) were going to hell was published in April. The post contravened Rugby Australia's Inclusion Policy and was the second time he'd posted something along those lines, despite being warned not to.
Folau's representatives confirmed that the former rugby star’s intent was to "seek a declaration that his employment was unlawfully terminated because of his religion. Under section 772 of the Fair Work Act it is unlawful to terminate employment on the basis of religion".
Folau said he felt his treatment by Rugby Australia and the Waratahs had left him no choice but to stand up for his beliefs and the rights of all Australians.
"I will forever be grateful and proud to have played the sport I love for our nation.
Ours is an amazing country built on important principles, including freedom of religion. A nation made up of so many different faiths and cultural backgrounds will never be truly rich unless this freedom applies to all of us," he said.
READ MORE: Israel Folau Sacked By Rugby Australia
“The messages of support we have received over these difficult few weeks have made me realise there are many Australians who feel their fundamental rights are being steadily eroded.
“No Australian of any faith should be fired for practicing their religion."
According to the applications submitted today, the termination of Folau’s employment contract prevented him from playing at the peak of his career and on the cusp of a Rugby World Cup, which would have likely generated even greater exposure and opportunities.
For this reason, he is seeking substantial remedies from his former employers should they be found to have breached the Fair Work Act in terminating his employment."
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