An ex-staffer for federal Minister Alan Tudge has made a formal complaint alleging he made her feel humiliated and caused her to cry.
In her complaint to the Department of Finance, Rachelle Miller outlines occasions where Mr Tudge was allegedly critical of her work in front of other people, the ABC reports.
Ms Miller said she once cried at an airport when he allegedly repeatedly asked about a Facebook video of the day’s media event.
“I was upset and very tired, so I went to the bathroom and sat there and cried until closer to our departure time in order to avoid him,” she wrote in the complaint, according to the ABC.
Ms Miller alleged she was further badgered on the plane.
“I ended up in tears on the plane. The person sitting next to me gave me a very awkward smile and tried to cheer me up,” she said.
“They had witnessed the whole thing and it was very humiliating.”
Ms Miller had an affair with Mr Tudge but she has not made any allegations of sexual harassment.
The relationship happened before a “bonk ban” between ministers and their staff was introduced.
After the affair was exposed on Four Corners this week, Mr Tudge issued an apology.
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said on Wednesday that he understood the department had received a complaint from Ms Miller.
“Any staff complaints received by the department are investigated thoroughly and in a manner entirely independent of government,” he said in a statement provided to NCA NewsWire.
A spokesperson for Mr Tudge said the Minister was also aware of the complaint.
“The Minister learnt yesterday through the media that a complaint was lodged last week with the Department of Finance containing allegations about Ms Miller’s employment in his office several years ago,” they said.
“The Minister was not aware of any previous complaint.
“As appropriate, the Minister anticipates that the Department of Finance would conduct an independent inquiry into this matter.”
The Department of Finance told NCA NewsWire it would not comment on individual parliamentarians or their staff.
“Where a report of workplace bullying or harassment is received by Finance, it is addressed in line with the workplace bullying and harassment policy,” a spokesperson said.
“The policy sets out that Finance will evaluate the report and the range of possible responses or actions, which includes an investigation.
“The policy makes clear that Finance may arrange a workplace investigation by an independent contracted provider who specialises in the field. It sets out the possible outcomes of an investigation.”