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Teal MP sued by staffer Sally Rugg under Fair Work Act

All is not well in teal world, despite their fancy lattes, their trendiness and their pious devotion to social justice.

Left-wing activist Sally Rugg is suing new member for Kooyong Dr Monique Ryan in the Federal Court for an alleged breach of general protections under the Fair Work Act.

Rugg’s case is based on allegations the teal MP attempted to dismiss her as chief of staff after she refused to work “additional hours that were unreasonable”.

Rugg’s action is seeking the following remedies:

  • – a final injunction preventing the termination of Ms Rugg’s employment, arguing that any such termination would contravene Section 340 of the Fair Work Act.
  • – a declaration that the Commonwealth and Dr Ryan contravened the act by taking “adverse action” against Ms Rugg “being to injure (Ms Rugg) in her employment by engaging in hostile conduct in the workplace” because of Ms Rugg’s refusal to work additional unreasonable hours.
  • – a declaration that Dr Ryan was involved in contraventions of the Fair Work Act by the Commonwealth, “having directly procured, induced, or having been knowingly concerned in or party to the contravention” as the “principal actor on behalf of (the Commonwealth) in the relevant transactions”.
  • – compensation and pecuniary penalties.
  • – acknowledgment that the “unreasonable additional hours” constitute a breach of national employment standards.


In our view, this case raises interesting questions about the hours political staffers are expected and required to work, and why it’s fine for members of our political class, particularly politicians, to limit the hours people work for other employers when they don’t believe the same rules should apply to them.

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