Eyebrow ‘scientist’ cops $21,890 penalty for ripping off workers
A self-proclaimed eyebrow ‘scientist’ has copped a $21,890 penalty for ripping off two workers.
The Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal action when the business owner failed to comply with two Compliance Notices.
The Notices directed her to back-pay the workers their outstanding wages and entitlements.
Sharon Lee Hamilton-Clarke (pictured) runs “Sharon Lee Inc. Eyebrow Atelier” located at Woollahra in Sydney.
She describes herself as a highly sought after “eyebrow scientist” and “proclaimed brow guru” and “Australia’s leading eyebrow artist”.
She also claims to have “pioneered the eyebrow movement in Australia” and that her services are in demand across the world.
Eyebrow shaping business cops penalty
The Federal Circuit and Family Court imposed a $20,000 penalty against Hamilton-Clarke’s company Get Plucked Holdings Pty Ltd.
It also penalised Hamilton-Clarke an additional $1,890.
Fair Work commenced an investigation after receiving a wage theft complaint from the workers.
An inspector formed the belief that Hamiliton-Clarke underpaid a receptionist her minimum wages and annual leave entitlements.
The regulator subsequently issued a Compliance Notice in December 2019 requiring her to calculate and back-pay the worker.
The same inspector later formed the belief that Hamilton-Clarke underpaid a beauty therapist her minimum wages, annual leave entitlements and payment-in-lieu-of-notice-of-termination entitlements.
The inspector then issued a second Compliance Notice in February 2021.
Hamilton-Clarke ignored them both, however, she did back-pay the workers when Fair Work commenced legal action.
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Failure to comply ‘deliberate’
Judge Sandy Street described the failure to comply with the Compliance Notices as “intentional”.
Judge Street also said there was a need to impose penalties at the appropriate amount to deter similar conduct in future.
“The Court finds that there is the need in the present case for specific deterrence in respect of both respondents and that general deterrence is of particular importance in this hairdressing and beauty service industry,” Judge Street said.
Compliance Notices not optional
Meanwhile, Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said Compliance Notices are not optional.
She said business operators who fail to act on Notices need to be aware they can face penalties in court on top of having to back-pay workers.
“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.
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