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Fighting For Australian Workers Who Have Had Their Wages Stolen By Their Boss
Another Cafe Owner In Court For Allegedly Failing To Pay Worker Entitlements

Another cafe owner in court for allegedly failing to pay worker entitlements

Another cafe owner is in court accused of failing to pay a worker his termination entitlements.

The Fair Work Ombudsman also alleges the employer failed to provide proper pay slips and ignored a Compliance Notice.

Another cafe owner in court

Facing the Federal Circuit and Family Court is Joanne McKenna, who operates Rita’s Kitchen in Albury, NSW.

Fair Work commenced an investigation into the venue as a result of receiving a wage theft complaint from a worker employed there for six years as a chef.

Following that investigation, the inspector formed a belief that Ms McKenna had failed to pay the worker his proper entitlements at the end of his employment.

The inspector then issued Ms McKenna with a Compliance Notice in December 2022 requiring her to calculate and back-pay the outstanding entitlements.

She has failed to do so in full, however.

Additionally, Fair Work also alleges Ms McKenna breaches pay slip laws.

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Don’t ignore Compliance Notices

Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan warned employers to not ignore Compliance Notices.

“These notices are a chance to rectify any underpayments without further penalty,” he said.

“Employers who ignore them will find themselves hit with court orders to repay what is already owed in addition to hefty penalties.”

Mr Heffernan advised employers who want to challenge a Compliance Notice to contact immediately for expert advice.

“Sometimes the regulator gets it wrong – and that’s where we can step in and help,” he said.

The penalties

Meanwhile, in the case of Rita’s Kitchen, Fair Work is seeking penalties against Ms McKenna for the alleged breach of workplace laws.

She faces a penalty of up to $8,250 for the alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notice and a penalty of up to $16,500 for the alleged pay slip breach.

The regulator is also seeking a court order for Ms McKenna to pay the outstanding entitlements owed, plus superannuation and interest.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has a directions hearing listed in Sydney on 10 October 2023.

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