Vivienne Leggett was harassed for her work at Hawkesbury Race Club by CEO Greg Rudolph and won a $ 2.8million paycheck.
An abusive boss whose ongoing campaign against harassment of a female employee resulted in pay of millions of dollars has been promoted by her recent employer.
Greg Rudolph was the CEO of Hawkesbury Race Club when Vivienne Leggett was forced to relinquish her sponsorship and publicity role on her bullying behavior.
Ms. Leggett, who had worked for the club for 25 years, won $ 2.8 million in compensation for the abuse she suffered at the hands of Mr Rudolph, and for being denied annual leave, long leave and commission payments.
The Federal Court heard Mr. Rudolph’s conduct, which resulted in Ms. Leggett suffering from a mental illness that had kept her unemployed for almost six years.
The court ruled in favor of Ms Leggett in February and at the end of May awarded her millions of compensation.
In a verdict of condemnation, Judge Steven Rares found workplace harassment ‘ruined Ms Leggett’s life’.
Mr Rudolph, a former deputy chairman of management at Racing NSW, was hired by a similar South Australian organization earlier this year.
He had previously been hired as a general manager but was recently promoted to manager of running operations in organizational reform.
Hawkesbury Race Club CEO Greg Rudolph (above) was found guilty of abusing and abusing Ms. Leggett for several months in 2016. The Federal Court heard Mr. Rudolph’s conduct caused Ms. Leggett to suffer from a mental illness that left her unemployed. for six years.
Racing SA chief executive officer Nick Redin confirmed last month that he and his board were satisfied with Mr Rudolph’s appointment to the new post, despite Ms Leggett’s experience.
“We did our best when Greg joined us,” Mr Redin told the Herald Sun.
“We were satisfied with Greg when we came in and we haven’t seen anything since he’s been with us to show we should have no reason to worry.”
Ms Leggett’s case included an email she sent to Mr Rudolph in which she referred to him yelling at him to return to the office while he was on the run.
He expressed his dismay at Mr Rudolph’s request for “rude” and said the incident “included many other situations in which I felt oppressed, isolated and interrogated without reason ‘.
“I feel like we’re reaching for a difficult situation that needs to be resolved,” Ms. Leggett wrote.
Vivienne Leggett sent this email to Hawkesbury Race Club CEO Greg Rudolph complaining that he had humiliated her by shouting at her to return her to office. The incident ‘included many other situations in which I felt oppressed,’ he wrote
Mr Rudolph did not address Ms Leggett’s concerns in replying to her e-mail. Instead, he invited her to attend a meeting with him the next morning
In response, Mr Rudolph did not address Ms Leggett’s concerns, instead telling her to attend his office with the club’s supervisor the next day.
‘Please meet me in my office tomorrow morning at 9:00 am with Joanne Price, to discuss your work performance,’ Mr Rudolph wrote.
‘You can bring someone support with you if you want.’
When Ms Leggett received the response she felt ‘more depressed, more emotionally drained and started vomiting’, according to a Federal Court ruling.
The court heard that Ms. Leggett was first employed at the club in 1991 at the age of 28, working under the then CEO Brian Fletcher, who described her as a ‘trustworthy employee’.
Mr Rudolph took over as CEO of Hawkesbury Race Club in May 2016. The court heard the new chief had started abusing Ms Leggett from the beginning, believing he was being paid too much. Photo of Hawkesbury Race
He was responsible for bringing in new contracts and preserving existing contracts, and was promoted to manager of the club’s sponsorship and marketing.
Mr Rudolph took over as CEO in May 2016 after Mr Fletcher left to take up a senior position at the Penrith Panthers NRL club.
The court heard the new chief had begun abusing Ms Leggett from the beginning, believing she was being paid too much.
Mr. Rudolph would exclude the finance manager, limit his activities, send him e-mail relentlessly and deprive him of his basic employee benefits.
Ms Leggett complained to Mr Rudolph about his behavior about four months after he began his new role, describing the effect it had on him mentally and his ability to do his own job.
Vivienne Leggett (pictured) worked on sponsorship and promotion at Hawkesbury Race Club for more than 25 years before retiring from her CEO’s treatment – before winning $ 2.8 million after taking the club to Federal Court.
The Federal Court heard the incident at the detention center on October 9, 2016 and the next email from Mr Rudolph was ‘the last straw’.
Shortly before the start of the final day race Mr Rudolph phoned Ms Leggett and ‘screamed in anger’.
Ms Leggett said she had previously been told she should ‘feel free’ to be in ‘restrictions’ at any time’, but Mr Rudolph demanded she return to office and hang up.
After receiving Mr. Rudolph’s reply in his e-mail about the incident, Ms. Leggett received a medical certificate from her doctor stating that she would not be able to work for the following week.
He sent the certificate to Mr Rudolph, who later sent it to his father-in-law, former chairman of the respected NSW Racing Supervisors Ray Murrihy, with the comment: ‘Falling like a fly’.
Brian Fletcher (left) was the CEO of Hawkesbury Race Club before Greg Rudolph and described Ms. Leggett as a ‘trustworthy worker’. Mr Rudolph’s father-in-law is honored former NSW Racing general manager Ray Murrihy (right)
Mr Rudolph claimed that his email to Ms Leggett asking him to come to his office was sent out of concern for his welfare, which Judge Rares noted could be compared to Mr Murrihy’s ‘praise’.
“Someone who really cares would not have behaved like this,” Judge Rares found.
Instead, Mr. Rudolph’s realities were reflected in his triumphant statement which reflected what he had been doing for several months, namely, trying to force Ms. Leggett out of work without firing her, because she knew there was no basis for doing so. ‘
On another occasion, after reviewing Ms. Leggett’s use of a club loan card, Mr. Rudolph doubted his $ 15 spending on parking. The court heard that he often held ‘intense interviews’ about the use.
Judge Rares found that the club had violated its contractual obligation to the Fair Labor Act by not paying Ms Leggett the benefits she deserved.
The court also ruled that the club was negligent in providing a safe working environment for Ms. Leggett.
Ms Leggett was first hired at the club in 1991 at the age of 28, working under the then CEO Brian Fletcher, who described her as a ‘trustworthy employee’.
‘In my opinion, the conduct of the club, through Mr Rudolph, ruined Ms Leggett’s life,’ Justice Rares discovered.
“He cannot work and, as the joint experts agreed, he cannot do so because of Mr. Rudolph’s conduct with the club.”
In an interview with Just Horse Racing, Ms Leggett claimed she had ‘suicidal thoughts’ because of the tragedy but did not have enough money to pay for treatment.
After resigning in 2019, Mr Rudolph said he was proud of his achievements in the leadership of the Hawkesbury Race Club.
“The Board and I are proud of what we have achieved in my tenure, which has been extended beyond my previous three-year commitment,” he said.
‘The time has come for me to complete my business studies and put more time into the various other responsibilities I have, for example in the field of charity.’