Diandong Ren, Bureau of Meteorology scientist secretly labored from the US for months

A scientist was fired by the Bureau of Meteorology after he was caught secretly working from abroad for a number of weeks, the Honest Work Fee heard.

Analysis scientist Diandong Ren lodged an unfair dismissal utility to the Honest Work Fee in July 2023, claiming his sacking by the bureau was harsh, unjust or unreasonable.

The BOM denied the allegations, stating Mr Ren lied to his bosses about his location and doubtlessly breached safety dangers by accessing the IT methods from abroad with out permission from the Commonwealth.

The Honest Work Fee backed the bureau’s case, with commissioner Scott Connolly discovering the termination of Mr Ren’s employment “was not laborious, unjust or unreasonable” and he was not unfairly dismissed.

Mr Ren travelled from Melbourne to america for a vacation for 4 weeks between August and September 2022.

9 days after he returned again to work, Mr Ren’s boss realised he wasn’t coming into the workplace, wasn’t on-line and wasn’t attending any conferences.

In line with the Fee’s determination, Mr Ren claimed he was working from residence, however the bureau tracked his IP deal with and located it was positioned in Austin, Texas.

He advised his supervisor he had left his pc within the US however failed to supply proof of his journey again to Australia, the Fee heard.

In October, Mr Ren was requested to once more present proof of his journey dates to the US and requested his data from the Division of Dwelling Affairs.

A proper investigation was then launched by the bureau and Mr Ren was issued with a draft report from the investigation in December, however the analysis scientist claimed he “actually didn’t recall” his journey particulars.

Mr Ren was not accused of any prison wrongdoing.

Data obtained by Dwelling Affairs revealed Mr Ren didn’t arrive till October 6, greater than two months weeks after he was as a result of return residence.

In December, the bureau advised Mr Ren he had breached cybersecurity insurance policies however he claimed his time within the US had been “all authorized logons”.

“Because it began from a scheduled PCL journey, and I didn’t deliver any BOM gadget with me. How can I misused the BOM property?” Mr Ren responded.

“Additionally I travelled in line with a schedule mentioned with my supervisor, I’m nonetheless unaware what’s fallacious. You might forged this spell on my head however I want to know why?”

He claimed his flight again to Australia was interrupted by a optimistic Covid-19 take a look at in Doha, which is why he didn’t return to the workplace for 2 weeks as he was working from residence.

Paperwork from Dwelling Affairs additional revealed Mr Ren had returned to the US for 3 months whereas below investigation from January to March 2022.

He advised his boss he was working from residence throughout this era.

The bureau had refused his request to take private depart to go to the US on the second event, and claims Mr Ren additional breached its cybersecurity insurance policies.

Mr Ren denied claims he returned abroad and advised the Honest Work Fee his passport had been stolen after he returned residence.

He advised the FWC there “exists a slight risk of id theft” and his passport was utilized by another person.

The scientist was fired by the bureau in Could 2023 following findings from the nine-month lengthy inside investigation.

He was advised his termination was the results of a “deliberate refusal” to simply accept the bureau’s guidelines with regard to working remotely and accessing its IT methods, which had potential implications for safety.

In line with the Fee’s determination, Mr Ren was advised his conduct was “intentionally evasive and untruthful”, and “inconsistent” with expectations positioned on him by the Code of Conduct.

Administration advised Mr Ren they not had belief and confidence he may do his job.

In his unfair dismissal declare, the scientist claimed he had permission to work abroad and IT had put in applications on his pc to permit him to take action.

He additionally claimed working abroad was widespread apply amongst employees, and the bureau had accepted it allowed through the pandemic.

However the bureau argued Mr Ren’s actions had been with out his supervisor’s information.

Commissioner Scott Connolly dominated it was not for Mr Ren to resolve “when and from the place he can entry the employer’s IT networks” with out approval.

Whereas he discovered Mr Ren “genuinely shaped” the opinion he had the bureau’s permission to work from wherever was handy for him, he accepted the scientist didn’t hassle with formal approval to take action.

“I’ve additionally thought of the seriousness of potential breaches to Commonwealth IT networks and methods and I’m satisfied that this floor alone would have warranted the Respondent (BOM) to take decisive motion,” Mr Connolly dominated.

“Whereas I empathise with Mr Ren and what he perceives to have occurred to him, after contemplating all of the supplies and submissions offered, on the stability of possibilities, I discover that Mr Ren has not been unfairly dismissed.”

The case was dismissed.

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