Two federal government ministers face legal action over the treatment of a former employee, former senior media advisor Rachelle Miller, who hired a high-profile law firm seeking compensation

Legal action is centered around the time Ms. Miller was serving as Secretary of Human Services for Alan Tudge and as Secretary of Labor and Innovation for Michaelia Cash

Former coalition worker Brittany Higgins, who also worked for Senator Cash and claimed earlier this month that she was raped in the House of Parliament in March 2019, has thrown her support behind Ms. Miller

“Nobody deserves to be bullied or harassed in their workplace,” Ms. Higgins told The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age

“The case of Rachelle Miller is another reason why the MoPs law [Members of Parliamentary Staff] needs to be reformed extensively and the processes of dealing with staff in the Parliament building need to be significantly improved”

Ms. Miller told ABC’s Four Corners program in November about a relationship she had with Mr. Tudge, who is now Secretary of Education

She then filed a workplace bullying complaint with the Treasury Department about her treatment by Mr. Tudge and a separate formal complaint to the department alleging that Ms. Miller had carried out a “fake dismissal process” that took her out of the office forced by Senator Cash

Ms. Miller alleged in her complaint to Finance that she was belittled and humiliated by Mr. Tudge while working in his office.She also alleged that she was responsible for her affair with Mr. Tudge was punished after moving into Senator Cash’s office and preventing her career from advancing

Gordon Legal Senior Partner Peter Gordon Confirmed His Law Firm Worked For Ms. Miller Gordon Legal recently won the Robodebt case which forced the government to pay a total of $ 1 billion in reimbursement and compensation for 400000 people

“Aside from confirming that we work for Rachelle Miller, we have no further comments to make at this time,” said Gordon

It is believed that Ms. Miller and her attorneys have chosen not to participate in the Finance Department’s internal investigation because they are deeply concerned about her integrity and lack of independence

A spokesman for Senator Cash said the minister strongly denies “allegations of adverse treatment by her or her office to Ms. Miller and strongly denies version of Ms. Miller’s events”

“At the time of her appointment, between late 2017 and mid-2018, the Minister and the Office understood Ms. Miller’s personal circumstances and was offered support, leave and flexible working arrangements. As the matter is under a formal process in the Treasury Department, the Minister will not make any further comments ”

Mr Tudge did not respond to requests for comment before the deadline, nor did the Treasury Department

Ms. Miller, a well-respected former employee who worked for the Coalition for a decade and previously 10 years in the corporate sector, is working with her lawyers to clarify the details of the case to prepare for legal action

Ms. Higgins’ rape allegations have rocked the federal government and sparked four separate investigations, including an independent investigation into the culture of Parliament

The government is now also grappling with allegations that a cabinet minister raped a woman in 1988. The ABC reported Friday that Labor Senator Penny Wong and Green Senator Sarah Hanson-Young had written anonymous letters alleging allegations of the They passed these allegations to police, including a statement from the alleged victim who killed himself in June 2020

In another blow to the coalition government on Friday, Liberal MP Nicolle Flint announced that she would resign from politics in the next elections after only two terms in parliament

Ms Flint is considered a rising star in the party and has been voiced about the misogyny and abuse she received as a female MP in the 2019 election campaign

South Australian MP and Treasury Secretary Simon Birmingham on Saturday paid tribute to Ms. Flint, highlighting the “Attacks from the Left, by Get Up! and others [who] threatened her and threatened her office staff “during her time in politics

Senator Birmingham said it was his understanding that a copy of the letter alleging historical rape had been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office to conduct necessary investigations “

When asked if the unnamed cabinet minister should come forward, Senator Birmingham said: “Everyone has a right to natural justice and it is important to help the police in their work””

Senator Wong said Saturday that she first became aware of the complainant’s allegation when the couple bumped into everyone on the street in Adelaide in November 2019, the complainant alleged that she was from a high-ranking man many years earlier Government member raped

“I said it was right to report to the relevant authorities, I facilitated her referral to rape services and I confirmed that she had assistance in reporting the matter to NSW police,” said Senator Wong

The woman spoke to NSW police last year but made no formal statement, and investigators suspended the investigation after she committed suicide

Support services: Lifeline 13 11 14; beyondblue 1,300 224 636; Domestic Violence Line 1800 65 64 63; 1800-RESPECT 1800 737 732

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James Massola is a political correspondent for the Sun-Herald and
Sunday Age He was previously the Southeast Asia Correspondent in Jakarta and Chief Political Correspondent. Before that, he was the Political Correspondent for the Australian Financial Review

Rapist of the cabinet minister who is the accused cabinet minister

World News – AU – Lawsuit against two cabinet ministers at work threatens

Source: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/workplace-lawsuit-against-two-cabinet-ministers-looms-20210225-p575tq.html