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Baptcare employee sacked after breathing on Nine reporter during protest

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A woman who made an exaggerated gesture of breathing into the face of a Nine News TV reporter, who was covering a protest rally in Melbourne, has been fired from her job.

9news reporter Reid Butler was covering the anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine rally at Flagstaff Gardens in the inner-city on Saturday May 29, when the woman was captured on film approaching him and then breathing on him.

She was immediately escorted away by police.

In the days following the incident, which was reported widely on television networks and in social media, the woman was subsequently identified as an employee of not-for-profit aged care operator, Baptcare.

“The behaviour of this employee doesn’t reflect who we are as an organisation, our values, or our unwavering commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of our residents, customers and clients,” Baptcare said in a statement.

“The employee’s behaviour does not align with our core values, centred on respect and wellbeing for others.

“The employee also failed to practice social distancing, and did not wear a face mask, mandated at this time so as to minimise the spread of infections, such as COVID-19.”

Baptcare said it does not condone the actions of the employee, which it said were unacceptable, and out of step with the organisation’s expectations as an employer, and the expectations of the community more broadly.

“To this end, Baptcare commenced a review of the incident relating to the employee’s behaviour. The review has concluded, and the person has left our employ,” the statement read.

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