Was the ‘lesbian’ comment OK?
THE senior staff member a young Channel 7 cadet made a complaint against before she was sensationally sacked is still gracing the network's airwaves.
Rodney Lohse was accused of making "repeated, unwanted comments" towards Amy Taeuber, 27.
A senior reporter on Today Tonight, Mr Lohse, 43, was alleged to have made comments about the junior journalist's sexuality which she found "offensive and humiliating", but were deemed 'OK' by the newsroom editor who managed both journalists.
In court documents, Mr Lohse was accused of saying to Ms Taeuber: "one in three women are lesbians, therefore (Amy) must be a lesbian as she is a triplet".
Ms Taeuber claimed she had been chatting with her sister Sophie Taeuber, who was also employed by Seven, at the network's Adelaide office in March 2016 when Mr Lohse approached the pair and made the comment.
The girls' mother, Linda Taeuber, has since claimed there were other incidents and said Mr Lohse had made comments comparing the sisters' looks and suggested 27 was "over the hill" for a woman in TV.
Ms Taeuber made a complaint about the lesbian comment in April last year.
In the weeks following, she became the target of what she claimed was a "retaliatory" investigation where she was accused of bullying a fellow cadet who was her close friend.
The junior employee said her colleagues were instructed to find "adverse" material and "dig up dirt" on her. These claims were never proven, and Seven rejected any suggestion it did not act fairly.
After her emails were trawled through, Ms Taeuber was accused of plotting to "destroy" a junior colleague.
Both Ms Taeuber and the man who she was accused of harassing, Peter Fegan, denied the claim. It's understood they remain friends.
In July 2016 she was dismissed for "serious misconduct", but sued the network asserting her sacking was because of her original harassment complaint against Mr Lohse.
The alleged wrongful dismissal suit was settled out of court in a confidential agreement between the two parties in February this year.
Ms Taeuber went on to work in commercial radio and later start a public relations agency with sister Sophie, while Mr Lohse faced no consequences over the harassment allegations.
In court documents supporting Ms Taeuber's unfair dismissal case, Ms Taeuber alleged news director Graham Archer had deemed Mr Lohse's comments "acceptable" in the newsroom.
In a statement sent to news.com.au, a Seven spokesman said Ms Taeuber's complaint was "fully investigated and resolved".
"A public apology was issued by the person and he now works at another newsroom," the statement said.
Mr Lohse has since moved to Brisbane but remains a reporter at Seven's Today Tonight where he has worked since 2001.
Through his two-decade career with the broadcaster, Mr Lohse has covered stories including the Beaconsfield mine disaster and the Beijing Olympics.
His latest story followed the journey of Cuban refugees who has settled in Brisbane as a result of the controversial Australia-US refugee swap.
Other recent broadcasts include consumer stories promoting the best value vacuums and microwaves, and a segment about a man who was "too fat for the nursing home".
Though Ms Taeuber's dismissal case was resolved, her allegations were catapulted back into headlines this week when ABC's 7.30 broadcast shocking audio recordings of a HR meeting revealing she had been accused of bullying and denied support after lodging the complaint against Mr Lohse.
The network has hit back, saying Ms Taeuber was fired due to a "breach of contract" rather than other allegations.
"We reject completely the claim we do not act fairly an supportively at all times with members of our staff," a spokesman told news.com.au.
Seven's statement said Ms Taeuber was fired "many weeks afterwards following meetings and discussions when the former employee was represented by two successive firms of lawyers and the union".
"It is untrue to say that she was not represented," the company said.
A Seven spokesman said Mr Lohse had "admitted his error and apologised".
News.com.au has contacted Mr Lohse for comment.