Political staffer Sally Rugg will keep her job working for Federal MP Monique Ryan under a temporary arrangement agreed in the Federal Court.
Ms Rugg has taken her boss and the Commonwealth of Australia to court alleging they beached her rights when she was fired effective January 31.
On Friday, lawyers representing the Commonwealth, Dr Ryan and Sally Rugg appeared before the Federal Court in Melbourne.
Dr Ryan appeared relaxed as she sat in the courtroom as lawyers discussed the matter before Justice Debbie Mortimer.
The court was told Ms Rugg was watching online from her lawyer’s office.
Ms Rugg alleges Monique Ryan MP was the driving force behind her firing. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman
The activist turned political staffer alleges her boss, the teal MP for Kooyong, “directly procured [or] induced” the Commonwealth to fire her after she refused to work additional hours.
The refusal, Ms Rugg claims, is protected under the Fair Work Act.
At an interlocutory hearing on Friday, Ms Rugg sought for the court to impose an injunction preventing her termination from taking effect.
Shortly before midday, the court heard the parties had reached an agreement to extend her employment until 5pm on January 17 to allow mediation to take place.
Acting for the Commonwealth, Nick Harrington gave an undertaking to continue Ms Rugg’s employment and pay her “miscellaneous leave”.
Justice Mortimer ordered the parties to enter mediation in an effort to resolve the situation before the matter will return to court on January 17.
“It’s my experience that negotiated outcomes are usually better outcomes,” she said.
Sally Rugg was a prominent activist in Melbourne before taking a job with the newly elected member for Kooyong.
In an application filed with the court earlier this week Ms Rugg alleges the Commonwealth engaged in “hostile conduct” after she refused to work additional hours.
She is seeking compensation.
Ms Rugg is Melbourne-based activist who previously worked at GetUp and Change.org before taking the role as Dr Ryan’s chief of staff last year.
The Fair Work Act permit employees to refuse to work “unreasonable hours”under a number of factors including, personal health and circumstances, if it is outside usual patterns for the industry, and their level of responsibility.