Sally Rugg, the former chief of staff to high-profile Teal MP Monique Ryan, claims their relationship was so broken that she felt uncomfortable dealing with basic feminine hygiene in the office.
Federal Court Judge Debbie Mortimer on Tuesday denied Ms. Rugg’s application to return to work with Dr. Ryan while she awaited trial.
The activist claims that Dr. Ryan was fired for raising concerns about unfair work.
Sally Rugg leaves court in Melbourne last month. She claims she was too afraid of her boss to buy tampons
Kooyong MP Monique Ryan has been accused by Ms Rugg of having dramatic mood swings that made her afraid to even go out to buy basic feminine hygiene product
Daily Mail Australia can now reveal that Ms Rugg had told the court she was so concerned about Dr.
In an affidavit submitted to the Federal Court, Ms. Rugg outlined the circumstances of her alleged ordeal on November 9 last year.
The court heard that Ms. Rugg had attended a press conference in which Dr. Ryan spoke about endometriosis and menstrual cramps.
‘During the conference I noticed that my period had started. After the press conference, I went to Aussie’s cafe to buy tampons, but they didn’t have any,” Ms. Rugg said in her 161-page affidavit.
“I started having cramps and an upset stomach, so I went to the bathroom for 5 or 10 minutes. When I returned to the parliamentary suite around 9.15 or 9.20am, Dr Ryan was visibly angry with me and did not discuss the plan for the day with me, which is what we would normally do at that time of the morning.’
Ms Rugg claimed that the pair would normally walk together to meetings they both attended, but noted that Dr Ryan dropped that routine after the press conference about menstrual cramps.
“This time, Dr. Ryan walked ahead of me, rather than with me, to the 9:30 meeting (which I also attended),” she explained.
“Again, I saw this as hostile behavior in the workplace. Given her repeated hostility towards me, I felt uncomfortable telling Ms. Ryan that I had my period and that I should go buy tampons or ask other office staff for them.’
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Principal Josh Bornstein performs for Ms. Rugg (picture leaves court on Tuesday). He said his client is disappointed with the loss of the Federal Court
Member for Kooyong Monique Ryan (far right) posed for photos at Parliament House in Canberra on November 8 last year – a day after the alleged ‘tampon incident’
Sally Rugg during her appearance on ABC’s Q+A
Dr. Ryan did not address the allegations in either of the two affidavits she filed in Federal Court.
Ms. Rugg claimed her boss told her she wanted to leave six days later.
“I don’t think it’s going to be okay,” Dr. Ryan is said to have told her during a meeting between the pair.
At the time, Ms. Rugg had just completed her three-month probation.
Moments earlier, Ms. Rugg claimed to have discussed Dr. Ryan’s alleged behavior following the press conference about endometriosis and menstrual cramps.
“I really have to care about you and want you to succeed, so I’m really affected by your moods, and I can see that you’ve been very angry with me for the past week, and that’s hard because in another role, as the boss is mad at you, you’ll be fine,” Mrs. Rugg claimed to have said to her boss.
“But here so much of the performance of my role is about wanting you to succeed, and I deeply feel your anger towards me.”
Despite Ms. Rugg’s many complaints about her boss, she had applied for a preliminary injunction in federal court to prevent the Commonwealth from terminating her employment with Dr. Ryan until trial.
It was a move that surprised Federal Court Judge Debbie Mortimer, who had previously expressed frustration at Ms. Rugg’s application to return to work.
Justice Mortimer said she 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 relationship at a full-day hearing last week .
“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?’
Kooyong MP Monique Ryan (pictured) will not be forced to work with Sally Rugg pending trial
Sally Rugg had previously taken to Twitter to declare her love of working with Kooyong MP Monique Ryan
Dr. Ryan insisted it would be “impractical, if not impossible” to get Ms. Rugg back to work in her office.
On Tuesday, Judge Mortimer questioned Ms. Rugg’s actual commitment to the “teal movement” and took aim at her for hitting Instagram as the parties would try to resolve their differences in mediation.
In her ruling on Tuesday, Judge Mortimer agreed with Dr.
“Dr Ryan’s characterization of the post is, in my opinion, accurate. I don’t see how this is the behavior of someone who wants to return to work closely and professionally with Dr. Ryan,” Judge Mortimer said.
Sally Rugg has been at the forefront of Australia’s marriage equality campaign and continues to work on LGTBIQ activism.
“It is the conduct of a person who accepts that his employment is at an end and accepts that he is embarking on a process to find illegal conduct on the part of Dr. Ryan and the Commonwealth.”
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.
STATEMENT BY SALLY RUGG ON FEDERAL COURT LOSS
Maurice Blackburn Attorneys Principal Josh Bornstein, acting for Ms. Rugg, issued this statement Tuesday.
Sally Rugg is disappointed that the court has not granted her request for intervention to keep her job, while noting that her relationship with Dr. Ryan is irreparable.
“However, the case is at an early stage.
As Judge Mortimer noted in her verdict, “Ms. Rugg’s arguments at trial over FWA violations may well succeed.”
“The focus will now turn to preparing the case for a lawsuit to examine whether a 70-hour work week, nearly twice the regular 38-hour work week, is illegal under the FWA.
It will also determine Ms. Rugg’s charges of unlawful adverse action.
“In 2021, Kate Jenkins of the Australian Human Rights Commission delivered Set the Standard: Report on the Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces (2021).”
“The report was welcomed by Parliament and a reform process has begun to make Parliament a safer place to work.
“One of the risk factors endangering workplace safety highlighted in that report was the long working hours of parliamentary assistants.
“The issues to be considered during the process could have far-reaching implications for all Australians working in industries where long hours are expected and normalised.”