The embattled news start-up is hunting former employees for alleged breaches of confidentiality
Two media outlets with ties to embattled start-up News.net are threatening to sue their former employees and file police reports alleging the employees violated confidentiality rules by disclosing emails and private information had while they were still employed.
Global News and Sport (the company behind News.net) and Australia News, both of which list Brendt Munro as sole director, have sent anonymous letters to staff over the past three weeks offering to pay the thousands of dollars , News.net owes some employees a period of 18 months. The letters also urge people to admit that they have breached confidentiality and non-libel clauses in their contracts in order to avoid lawsuits for damages.
Letters sent to employees seen by The Sydney Morning Herald And Age, claim employees failed to fulfill basic duties like updating the website and misled the company about the number of advertisers on board (claims employees dispute). A March 3 letter from Australia News threatened the employees with legal action but also offered to pay money owed to them over a period of 18 months.
Munro denied that the correspondence was from him. “I don’t know the content. My focus is on getting money from parents [sic],” he said.
News.net was an ambitious local journalistic company that wanted to employ 170 people and create more than 1500 local, national and international websites that could be linked to a single domain name. The April 2022 launch was delayed by technology issues, and on June 30, employees began struggling with wages. On October 28th, following the publication of an investigation by this legal notice, the company ceased operations.
Munro told employees last September that the company’s payment delays were caused by “anti-money laundering” laws and problems with international bank transfers. He then blamed shareholder problems for the lack of funds. The company has still not paid employees the money they are owed.
Michael Norris, a former owner of Brisbane radio station 4BH who has been referred to as “Chairman” by News.net, is not listed as a director in Australian Securities and Investments Commission filings. Documents viewed by this imprint show that he spent over 12 years seeking high-profile investors and journalists to run News.net, which never officially launched.
https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/embattled-news-start-up-chases-former-staff-for-alleged-confidentiality-breaches-20230308-p5cqcv.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_business The embattled news start-up is hunting former employees for alleged breaches of confidentiality