Geek wins back job after losing beauty
Adam Marshall was sacked by the Bureau of Meteorology for appearing on the TV show 'Beauty and the Geek' but a Federal Magistrate has ordered he be reinstated in his job.PT1M29S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-29ou6 620 349 November 21, 2012
He went on Beauty and the Geek to find his true love. But instead Adam Marshall came up empty-handed - and 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 him.
It had sacked him after he asked, while he was on sick leave for recurring anxiety and stress, to appear on the reality television show which airs on the Seven Network.
Reinstated ... Adam Marshall.
His doctor told Mr Marshall, after he was off work for an extended period, that participating in the show - in which geeks are paired with beauties - could have ''health benefits''.
The Bureau of Meteorology, though, saw it differently and sacked him, citing problems with the medical certificate provided by his doctor.
Mr Marshall, from Ballarat, 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on sick leave for three months, after being diagnosed as suffering serious anxiety and stress, in the wake of being withdrawn from the bureau's Australian Antarctic weather program.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, a Federal Magistrate, Dominica Whelan, ordered the bureau to re-hire Mr Marshall in his role as a remote areas weather observer.
Ms Whelan also ordered the bureau to give him the backpay 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.
The Bureau of Meteorology directed Mr Marshall to leave Victoria and take a job in the Brisbane regional office, as a relief weather observer.
He was to start on July 6, but because a State of Origin game created difficulties finding him a hotel room in Brisbane, this was revised to later in the week.
His doctor later advised him that relocating to Brisbane could be bad for his mental health, as he would be far from friends and family who could give him support.
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, pictured below.
The couple lasted three shows before they were eliminated.
Mr Marshall's doctor, Jim Thomson, 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 the bureau did not have the right to do this.
Mr Kelly said it had discriminated against his client, who was taking legitimate sick leave.