Jacqui Lambie’s former Chief of Staff and his wife are suing the Senator for unfair dismissal.
Lambie sacked the pair in 2017 following complaints about workplace health and safety.
The pair accuse Lambie of using “vulgar language” on a daily basis and not taking security seriously.
Jacqui Lambie’s former Chief of Staff claims unfair dismissal
Rob Messenger met Senator Lambie in 2013 during her Senate run as a member of Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party.
Following her election to parliament, he joined her team, along with his wife Fern, who worked as Lambie’s office manager.
‘Vile, profane, vulgar language’
Mr Messenger told the Federal Court his workload increased significantly when Lambie broke away from Clive Palmer and became an independent.
He also accused Lambie of using offensive language on a daily basis.
“Senator Lambie subjected and exposed, staff, myself, my wife, to vile, profane and vulgar language.
“It became wearing. Many of the comments had sexual connotations, were inappropriate and gross.”
He allegedly confronted Lambie about her inappropriate language during a meeting.
“I said, ‘Jac, the staff have complained to us … there are certain swear words you used that could be sexual harassment if a complaint was made.'”
Mr Messenger also told the court about a death threat received by a staff member in Lambie’s electorate office.
The letter said if Lambie did not convert to sharia law, the authors would attack her office and behead her.
Mr Messenger showed the letter to Lambie and, as a result, she temporarily closed the electorate office and called police.
However, Lambie soon wanted the office open again, allegedly against the wishes of staff.
Additionally, Mr Messenger alleged Lambie refused to take steps to upgrade security at the office.
The Messengers are representing themselves in the hearing.
Both Justice John Snaden and Nick Harrington, counsel for Lambie, regularly interrupted Mr Messenger’s evidence today.
They accused him of entering irrelevant evidence and straying from the statement of claim.
Senator Lambie is expected to give evidence at a later date.
(Picture: ABC News – Emily Street)
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