Teal MP Monique Ryan accused of breaching Fair Work Act by dismissing Sally Rugg after left-wing activist refused to work additional ‘unreasonable hours’
New details have emerged in Sally Rugg’s federal court case against independent MP Monique Ryan with the former left-wing campaigner claiming she was wrongfully dismissed.
Ms Rugg lodged her application against both Dr Ryan and the Commonwealth Government last Wednesday, alleging a breach of “general protections” under the Fair Work Act.
Documents released on Tuesday claim Dr Ryan moved to fire her chief of staff after Ms Rugg refused to work additional hours.
Lawyers for Maurice Blackburn, who represent the high-profile activist, are seeking an injunction on the termination until the dispute is resolved.
They argue Ms Rugg “exercised a workplace right” to refuse additional working hours that were deemed “unreasonable”.
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Lawyers are also seeking a declaration that Dr Ryan, and through her the Commonwealth, breached the Fair Work Act by “engaging in hostile conduct” in response to Ms Rugg’s refusal to work what they say are “unreasonable” hours .
Ms Rugg is also chasing a declaration that the Kooyong MP was directly responsible for the breaches of the Act by the Federal Government as she “in her role as the direct breacher procured, induced or knowingly engaged in or was involved in the offence”. employer.
The former chairman of the Kevin Rudd-backed Australians for a Murdoch Royal Commission was Dr Ryan’s choice for the top job only six months ago.
But the shocking allegations come in stark contrast to the independent’s claims that they are seeking a better workplace culture in Parliament House.
Dr Ryan joined her new crossbench colleagues last year to push a parliamentary code of conduct as recommended in the Kate Jenkins review into workplace culture in Parliament.
“The introduction of a parliamentary code of conduct as recommended by the Jenkins report will be crucial to improving the workplace culture of Parliament House,” she said on Twitter in June.
“I look forward to developing a code of conduct that will hold politicians to a high standard.”
According to The Australian, despite legal action against the Commonwealth and Dr Ryan, Ms Rugg is still employed in the Teal MP’s parliamentary office.
While Ms Rugg remains on staff during this legal dispute, Dr Ryan has appointed former Greens adviser Nina O’Connor as her interim replacement.
The federal court made orders for an interlocutory hearing on Friday, February 3.
When Ms Rugg was named chief of staff, she told the Nine newspapers she was attracted to Ms Ryan following Sky News Australia’s town hall debate against Mr Frydenberg.
“What attracted me to Monique was of course the policy priorities – climate change, gender equality, integrity and transparency in politics – but also her approach as a grassroots, community-bound independent,” she said at the time.