A Barossa Valley pizza outlet is facing court for allegedly underpaying a casual employee.
The Fair Work Ombudsman also alleges the business failed to comply with a Compliance Notice, requiring it to back-pay the worker.
Barossa Valley pizza outlet facing court
Facing the Federal Circuit Court are Ziad Andary and Fida Ghamwari, who operate ‘The Valley Pizza’ outlet in Nuriootpa.
Fair Work commenced an investigation following a complaint from a casual worker at the store.
An inspector found Andary and Ghamwarithe failed to pay the employee proper:
- minimum wage rates;
- weekend penalty rates; and
- evening penalty rates between June 2019 and February 2020.
As a result, the inspector issued Andary and Ghamwarithe with a Compliance Notice in May this year.
The Notice required them to calculate and back-pay the worker his unpaid entitlements.
However, Fair Work alleges that, without reasonable excuse, Andary and Ghamwari failed to comply with the Compliance Notice.
This allegedly happened despite the regulator making several attempts to secure voluntary compliance before starting legal action.
As a result of the alleged underpayments, Fair Work is seeking penalties against Andary and Ghamwari.
They each face a penalty of up to $6,600.
The regulator is also seeking orders for the company to back-pay the worker in full, plus superannuation and interest.
The Federal Circuit Court in Adelaide has a directions hearing listed on 10 December 2020.
“GOLD COAST RESTAURANT FACING PENALTIES FOR ALLEGED WAGE THEFT”
No excuse for wage theft
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan once again called for criminal penalties for wage theft.
“Both Victoria and Queensland now have laws which will see greedy bosses charged by police and face a criminal court,” he said.
“However, we really need federal laws to make it clear that wage theft, like all other forms of theft, is not acceptable.”
Fair Work continues to enforce laws
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker confirmed her agency will continue to enforce workplace laws, despite the on-going pandemic.
“Where employers do not comply with our requests, we will take appropriate action to protect employees.
“A court can order the business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”
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