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FutureStarrSally Rugg Alleges Systematic Breach of Labour Standards After Mediation Failed
Sally Rugg has taken action after mediation failed to resolve her dispute with Kooyong MP Monique Ryan, according to her lawyer. She plans on adding claims of "serious contraventions" of the Fair Work Act against Dr Ryan and the Commonwealth in court documents filed today.
Ms Rugg, the teal independent's chief of staff, launched legal action in January claiming she had been fired for refusing to work "unreasonable" overtime hours. Additionally, she sought financial compensation from Dr Ryan and the Commonwealth - which serves as the official employer for parliamentary staffers.
Sally Rugg is an Australian social activist, writer and media personality who has been at the forefront of LGBTIQ rights in Australia for decades. Her writing on activism, feminism and LGBTIQ rights have been featured in publications such as The Sydney Morning Herald, Vice, The Guardian, Junkee and Pedestrian among others. Additionally, Sally frequently guests on ABC Radio National, 3AW radio station JOY FM radio station.
Sally is a passionate supporter of equality for all individuals. She believes gender discrimination is an institutionalized construct and needs to be eradicated. Sally has personal experience with this issue as she experienced self-loathing when discovering she was lesbian.
She credits unlearning these societal constructs with helping her accept herself and her sexuality, leading her to become an active member of the LGBTQIQ community.
She spent her time in parliament fighting for marriage equality and other laws to be passed. Since then, she has become an outspoken feminist who campaigns against sexual harassment, gender discrimination and violence against women.
However, she still faces backlash for her activism, including death threats and online hate mail. Despite these attacks, she says they don't stop her from advocating for marginalised groups in society.
Ms Rugg has claimed the Commonwealth, her employer, violated workplace law when she was fired for refusing to work 'unreasonable' hours. She has sought compensation and pecuniary penalties from both the commonwealth and her former employer.
Workplace lawyers anticipate that if Ms Rugg prevails in her case, it will serve as a model for what constitutes "reasonable" overtime or additional hours for parliamentary staffers and could have implications for other white-collar workers across the labour market.
Ms Rugg's case will be heard in Federal Court, with Ms Bornstein's lawyer Josh Bornstein declaring he will add claims of "serious contraventions" of the Fair Work Act against her former employer. If proven, this can carry a maximum penalty of $660,000.
Mr Bornstein issued a statement noting that Ms Rugg's lawsuit would serve as "a test case" and may lead to other legal actions against the Commonwealth. Additionally, he noted that any breach of labour standards would constitute "systematic misconduct".
Mediation between Dr Ryan and Ms Rugg failed to resolve their impasse, prompting Ms Rugg to escalate her case in court documents by alleging a "serious contravention". Additionally, she seeks a statement from Dr Ryan confirming her involvement in "hostile conduct" that breaches national labour standards, according to court documents.
She is seeking compensation and financial penalties from both parties for violating the Fair Work Act, including a maximum penalty of $660,000. Furthermore, Ms Rugg wants the commonwealth to acknowledge her alleged 'unreasonable additional hours' as an offense against labour standards and acknowledge that her right to refuse these additional hours was valid under express workplace rights.
This lawsuit is the latest development in a long and contentious legal battle between Ms Rugg and the commonwealth, which employs parliamentary staff. Ms Rugg launched legal action against the commonwealth last January, alleging hostile conduct and an attempt to sack her over her refusal to work unreasonable hours.
Lawyers for Ms Rugg have indicated she may add claims of'serious' breach of the Fair Work Act to her dispute, which could carry a penalty of up to $660,000 if proven. She intends on seeking court authorization from Maurice Blackburn requiring the Commonwealth to provide evidence supporting these assertions.
Mr Bornstein noted the serious nature of Dr Ryan's claim, noting her staff had publicly acknowledged working 70-hour weeks and not feeling safe. Additionally, the Commonwealth had been aware for many years of unlawful excessive hours being worked by parliamentary staffers.
He noted Ms Rugg's case would be a test for what constitutes "reasonable" overtime or extra hours for parliamentary staffers and could have an impact on white-collar employees across the labour market.
Ms Rugg's law firm has a track record of successfully prosecuting claims against the Commonwealth over workplace issues, having won more than 30 cases in two years.
On Friday morning, Ms Rugg's case will return to court. Her request for an injunction against termination will be heard, and then she can pursue her claims against the Commonwealth and Dr Ryan.
Sally Rugg, who was appointed Dr Ryan's chief of staff last year, is alleging a systematic breach of labour standards after mediation failed to resolve her legal dispute with teal independent Monique Ryan. To stop her job from being terminated while she pursues this case, Rugg is seeking an injunction.
Ms Rugg has accused Dr Ryan of violating the Fair Work Act by dismissing her for refusing to work "unreasonable" hours. Additionally, she is seeking compensation and pecuniary penalties from both Dr Ryan and Commonwealth, which employs parliamentary staffers.
Sally Rugg and the Commonwealth are due in Federal Court this Friday to provide an update on their negotiations, as well as whether mediation will move forward.
Judge Mortimer has granted Ms Rugg's request for an adjournment, allowing the parties to continue negotiations. She warned Mr Harrington that any interlocutory application must be resolved at their next hearing and Ms Rugg should not be terminated while she pursues her case.
Ms Rugg's lawyer Maurice Blackburn indicated she intended to file an additional claim of "serious contravention" against the commonwealth for its alleged "knowing and systematic" breach of labour standards. He indicated this case could be a test for what constitutes "reasonable" overtime for parliamentary staffers, with potentially far-reaching repercussions if successful.
He added that, if the case is successful, it could pave the way for other legal actions affecting all Australian white-collar employees.
Mediation provides parties with an impartial third-party mediator who can facilitate discussions and help identify long-lasting solutions. It has often proven successful at helping resolve disputes peacefully, in good faith.
Mediation is an increasingly popular alternative for legal disputes that cannot be settled through litigation or arbitration, where a judge or arbitrator determines the outcome. Although less costly and more efficient than court proceedings, mediation does not guarantee a positive result and can often involve lengthy, tedious processes that cause frustration for both parties involved.
After mediation failed to resolve a dispute between Sally Rugg, an activist turned political staffer, and her employer Monique Ryan, she has filed an allegation of'systematic' breach of labour standards. If proven true, her lawyer believes it could 'open the door to further litigation including class actions'.
According to her lawyers, Maurice Blackburn, the penalty for willful and systematic breaches of labour standards could reach up to $660,000. As part of a ferocious legal strategy, Dr Ryan and the Commonwealth will face serious charges under the Fair Work Act.
She will also contend that her boss 'directly procured or induced' the Commonwealth to fire her in violation of law and public policy. If proven, she can seek compensation and pecuniary penalties from both parties - potentially amounting to $390,000.
Ms Rugg is seeking an injunction to prevent Dr Ryan from terminating her employment while she pursues the lawsuit. According to Ms Rugg, her employment was due to terminate on January 31.
Ms Rugg initially refused to work extra hours. Her employer now claims she violated the Fair Work Act by failing to give her the option of declining them. Ms Rugg pointed out that her boss had publicly acknowledged that staff members were working 70-hour weeks and it wasn't safe for them to continue with that level of commitment.
However, her employer has a legal defense to this allegation. In court papers, the Commonwealth asserted Ms Rugg had not been given an acceptable reason to work 'unreasonable' hours and her employer hadn't demonstrated any intent or incompetence when terminating her.
On Friday afternoon, Ms Rugg's lawyers were granted an adjournment until 5pm next week in order to continue mediation. She will remain employed as part of Dr Ryan's team until then and the Commonwealth will pay her for'miscellaneous leave' - covered under her political staffer enterprise agreement.
On Tuesday afternoon, Mr Harrington read out an undertaking to the court stating that the Commonwealth intended to mediate on all matters within a fortnight. With this assurance in place, it was hoped the parties could continue discussing their case and chart a course forward from mediation.
Ronald McDonald first made an appearance as the mascot for a fast food chain in 1963 and quickly earned himself a following among both kids and adults alike.
He was often seen with his friends Mayor McCheese, The Hamburglar, Grimace, Birdie the Early Bird and The Fry Kids; however sadly he passed away in 2016.
In 2016, Burger King pulled its iconic clown mascot Ronald McDonald from public view due to a "current climate of creepy clown sightings in communities across America."
Ronald was once seen as an endearing figure with red hair and a clown suit, but his public appearances became increasingly marred by controversy. Reports that he targeted children, particularly girls, for attention tarnished his image as a friendly clown. Furthermore, fast food's connection to obesity became an issue that needed further discussion before Ronald could become another marketing tool without controversy.
McDonald's attempted to counter these accusations by rebranding the character as more of an adult clown. Unfortunately, this rebranding proved ineffective and hasn't left much of an impression on customers, according to The Daily Meal.
Eventually, McDonald's chose to forsake its cartoon characters in favor of more serious images and marketing campaigns that appealed to adults. They even created a world called McDonaldland where things like french fry bushes, trees that grew apple pies and volcanoes filled with milkshakes instead of lava were common sights.
It was much more enjoyable than the real world and made many people smile. Unfortunately, it was still very sad to say goodbye to these beloved cartoon characters.
One important note is that, despite his recent retirement from public appearances, Ronald remains a spokesperson for his company and appears in several marketing campaigns. Additionally, he participates annually in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Ronald is still available to speak at fundraisers and birthday parties. Additionally, he actively promotes both his company and Ronald McDonald House charity on Instagram.
He's also featured in several television commercials.
For years, McDonald's resisted calls from parents and health professionals to retire Ronald in favor of more family-friendly advertising characters. But that has changed in recent years as Sriram Madhusoodanan from Corporate Accountability International noted that Ronald has been working less as McDonald's comes under increasing pressure from activists to alter its marketing strategies.
Ronald McDonald served as the iconic face of McDonald's for years until 2016, when he mysteriously disappeared. It's unclear what happened to this beloved mascot when he retired.
Ronald Mcdonald first made his presence known in 1963 through a television advertisement for McDonald's. He quickly rose to become the face of the fast food company and was beloved by many. Additionally, he made appearances at various events and restaurants to make children laugh. Along the way he made friends such as Mayor McCheese, Hamburglars Grimace Birdie the Early Bird and Fry Kids who would later join him in retirement.
He created McDonaldland, a fictional world made up of menu-based characters featured in TV commercials, Happy Meal toys and materials that supported Ronald McDonald House Charities.
McDonald's characters were a familiar feature of their advertising until 2003 when they were discontinued. Although some of the characters continued to appear in video games and direct-to-video animated films, McDonaldland itself no longer existed.
Ronald and his companions were beloved by both children and adults, so many were disappointed when McDonald's Corporation announced they would discontinue the character. Nonetheless, a recent survey shows that most kids still enjoy Ronald and his friends.
McDonald's made the decision to retire Ronald due to a series of strange clown sightings across North America and Great Britain, which began as harmless pranks but soon escalated into reports of clowns chasing school children or trying to lure them into wooded areas.
McDonald's must take responsibility for this horrifying story. The fast-food chain has long been accused of marketing directly to children, so it was high time they put an end to this practice.
It all began when pictures of menacing clowns in a Wisconsin parking lot were shared online. Initially intended as advertisements for an upcoming horror movie, these images quickly went viral and terrified many viewers.
As Ronald McDonald made the transition into adulthood, he needed to make some major changes. For one thing, his classic clown shoes had to go and he donned an eye-catching new ensemble: yellow cargo pants, vest and red-and-white striped rugby shirt.
Next, Ronald was given a new role: health-minded brand ambassador. This shift from his previous title as "king of fast food" came as direct response to critics who claimed Ronald's food choices were too tempting.
He was also promoted to become a bigger star on social media platforms. In ads featuring him snowboarding, juggling fruit and generally embodying the company's new "healthy" ethos, he demonstrated how healthy living could be fun for viewers.
Some reports in The New York Times indicate this was Ronald McDonald's most successful commercial ever, regardless of its rebranding. Regardless, Ronald McDonald remains one of America's beloved icons.
In 1966, Mickey D's first animated character debuted and quickly earned himself a place of iconic status within McDonald's empire. He featured prominently in many television commercials, often taking place in an idyllic world called McDonaldland that featured numerous menu-based characters.
For the majority of the next few decades, McDonald's largely avoided creating commercials to compete with Pizza Hut and Burger King. It wasn't until the 1980s that they finally made an effort to humanize their most recognizable mascot.
Not only was this the more cost-effective way to train Ronalds, but the company believed that it would ultimately benefit kids' health in the long run. Unfortunately, at about the same time Ronald became a household name, America experienced its worst obesity epidemic in decades.
If you were a kid who grew up with Ronald McDonald, then you may be wondering what happened to his beloved mascot. He was part of McDonald's gang and helped sell Happy Meals and hamburgers around the world for decades.
Ronald McDonald House Charities in the UK is his namesake, providing a place for families of seriously ill children to stay while they receive medical care. So there may still be hope for him yet. His name continues to be used as inspiration by those working to promote Ronald McDonald House Charities throughout the country.
Ronald is not only their mascot identity, but a spokesperson for their recent campaign against obesity. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Ronald said, "It is essential for us to speak out on this issue because it is both real and serious - something that affects every child."
Ronald was the iconic face of fast food for decades, but his presence waned after 2016 when the internet began reporting spooky clown sightings. While these were occasionally creepy and scary, they were generally harmless pranks.
McDonald's had considered changing its mascot due to the viral phenomenon, as reported by NBC News. They stated they would do their best to be considerate when it comes to Ronald participating in community events.
It was the end of an illustrious and successful run for McDonald's iconic mascot, who featured in nearly all commercials over the years. He was a beloved kid-friendly character living in McDonaldland alongside friends Grimace, Birdy and The Hamburglar.
He was featured in several animated television shows. His dog Sundae, who made her debut in 1998, also appears in these programs.
His favorite pastime is going on adventures and meeting new people. He's very friendly too, enjoying hamburgers whenever possible.
Though he no longer features in McDonald's commercials, you can still spot him on social media and his Instagram page. He is an iconic figure in many countries with a large following on the platform.