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Outlook sunny as Geek wins ruling on job dismissal

21 Nov, 2012 05:40 AM
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HE WENT on Beauty and the Geek to find his true love. He failed.

Worse, Adam Marshall lost his dream job, as a weather observer with the Bureau of Meteorology.

Now, after a 16-month court battle, the Federal Magistrates Court has ordered the Bureau of Meteorology to reinstate Mr Marshall.

It had sacked him in July last year after he asked, while he was on sick leave for recurring anxiety and stress, to appear on the reality television show.

His doctor told Mr Marshall, after he was off work for an extended period, that participating in the reality television show - in which so-called geeks are paired with beauties - could have ''health benefits''.

The Bureau of Meteorology, though, saw it differently and sacked Mr Marshall, citing problems with the medical certificate provided by his doctor.

Mr Marshall had been on sick leave for three months, after being diagnosed as suffering serious anxiety and stress, in the wake of being withdrawn from the bureau's Australian Antarctic weather program.

On Monday, Federal Magistrate Dominica Whelan ordered the Bureau to re-employ Mr Marshall in his role as a remote areas weather observer.

Ms Whelan also ordered the bureau to give him the back pay owed from his $75,000 salary. She found Mr Marshall had been ''an excellent employee'' before his dismissal.

Mr Marshall declined to comment, but said through his lawyer Joseph Kelly, from Kelly Workplace Lawyers, that he was excited to be going back to work in the profession he loved.

Mr Marshall had been diagnosed by his family doctor and a psychologist as being unfit to return to work, but a government medical officer had found him able to go back.

Around this time, Mr Marshall was also contacted by producers for Beauty and the Geek, and successfully auditioned for the 2011 series. He was paired with Emma Ceolin, a former Miss FHM Australia. The couple lasted three shows before they were eliminated.

Mr Marshall had told Beauty and the Geek producers he was not suffering a mental disorder because, he told the court, he was embarrassed by his diagnosis as being affected by adjustment disorder. He believed any mention of it would harm his chances of appearing on the show.

Mr Marshall's doctor, Jim Thomson, from Ballarat, had believed that the ''environment of the Beauty and the Geek would have been quite different and possibly could have been beneficial'', the court ruling said.

Mr Kelly said that when his client was off on sick leave, and asked for time off to appear on Beauty and the Geek, the human resources officers ''said, 'We've had enough of this guy,' and pulled the pin''.

The court has found that the bureau did not have the right to do this.

Mr Kelly said the bureau had discriminated against his client, who was taking legitimate sick leave. ''The bureau's view was that human resources should be free to decide what they want to decide, and that's not right,'' he said.

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COMMENTS

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so, of you four, who is a farmer or earns the majority of income from farming? by the way bushie
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We need the re-registration scheme to ensure the safety of the Australian food supply and
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In other words another expensive bureaucratic mess that is being brought in to appease a