Sally Rugg has failed to return to work as Kooyong MP Monique Ryan’s chief of staff.
Federal Court Judge Debbie Mortimer on Tuesday denied Ms. Rugg’s request to return to work pending trial.
The activist claims that Dr. Ryan was fired for raising concerns about unfair work.
Sally Rugg had the option to turn down an additional $30,205 in her position as Kooyong MP Monique Ryan’s chief of staff if she could not commit to required overtime
Dr. Ryan said: ‘Ms Rugg never mentioned to me that she would choose not to receive the Parliamentary staff allowance, and as far as I know she did receive it’
She had applied for a preliminary injunction to prevent the Commonwealth from terminating her employment until a trial was completed.
In handing down her ruling, Judge Mortimer told the parties to continue to work together to resolve the case in hopes of avoiding a costly trial.
Dr. Ryan tuned in to the short hearing via video link, where she fidgeted awkwardly before turning off her camera.
In a 30-page document detailing the reasons for her decision, Judge Mortimer said Ms. Rugg’s arguments at trial over violations of the Fair Work Act could well succeed.
“If that is the case, based on the evidence as it will be at trial, she will be able to apply for a relocation order,” she said.
“The circumstances may then be very different and the court would assume that she has been wholly or largely successful in her charges.”
“I don’t consider the refusal of provisional help to be any detriment to Mrs. Rugg in the eventual help she seeks.”
Ms Rugg has announced an intention to add fine claims against the Commonwealth, which are broader in scope and cover allegations of systematic tolerance for unreasonable working hours by all parliamentary assistants.
Mrs. Rugg accepted $136,607 to play the role of Dr.
She is suing her employer in Federal Court over what she claims to be unreasonable work expectations and a “hostile” workplace.
The salary Ms. Rugg accepted was $136,607. There was an additional $30,205 parliamentary staff allowance to account for the reasonable expectation of overtime, especially during sitting weeks
According to the job description that Dr Ryan advertised, the position would require 12 hours a day during parliamentary session weeks and a degree of flexibility and versatility.
But in an affidavit filed with the court, Dr Ryan revealed that there was a clause in the agreement that stated ‘a personal employee may choose not to receive a parliamentary staff allowance if the employee is unable, or does not expect much to work extra hours. of work’.
The clause clarifies that employees who often waive additional working hours due to personal or family obligations have the option to decline the sum.
Dr. Ryan said, “Ms. Rugg never mentioned to me that she would choose not to receive the parliamentary staff allowance, and as far as I know she did receive it.”
The job description that Dr. Ryan advertised after her monumental victory as part of the “teal landslide” during the federal election said applicants would be responsible for planning and executing an annual budget, implementing a media strategy, running several social media channels and drafting speeches. .
Ms. Rugg (pictured) was offered the role on the back of her inspirational cover letter, guaranteeing she could deliver everything Dr. Ryan expected and more
Blue Green MP Monique Ryan (pictured last month) acknowledged it was a significant workload but disagrees that Ms Rugg was expected to do the work of four people
Sally Rugg (pictured with her attorneys) filed an unfair dismissal claim against Dr. Monique Ryan and the Commonwealth
Justice Mortimer had previously expressed frustration with Ms. Rugg’s application to return to work.
She said she had struggled with the idea of Ms Rugg and Dr Ryan returning to work close to each other, pending trial, after hearing evidence of their volatile behavior at a full-day hearing last week. relation.
“I don’t think I’ve seen a case like this,” she said.
“The material is pretty stark about a break in the working relationship. How can they be forced to keep working together?’
Dr. Ryan insisted it would be “impractical, if not impossible” to get Ms. Rugg back to work in her office.
It was previously told at the hearing how Ms Rugg was given a formal warning after flying home from Canberra knowingly infected with Covid.
Dr. Ryan claimed she offered Ms Rugg a six-week severance package if she chose to resign, adding that she could “turn it around” and “say her job ‘just wasn’t a good fit'”.
But Mrs. Rugg remembers the conversation differently. She told the hearing that Dr Ryan approached her when no other staff were present and said, ‘I’m going to terminate your employment. I’ve decided to fire you in January.”
Ms Rugg claimed in her affidavit that Dr Ryan said this was an ‘off book’ option that would be ‘mutually beneficial, but it must be done off the record’.
She said the alleged altercation left her “distraught.”