The glamourous boss of a trendy Bondi bar has been penalised $26,460 for ripping off her staff.
Julia Rose Gelonese underpaid workers at her Upper East Side Bondi restaurant and bar while living it up travelling around the world.
Glamourous boss penalised for ripping off staff
The Federal Circuit and Family Court previously penalised Gelonese $4,410 for ignoring a Compliance Notice to back-pay her workers.
It also penalised her company, Upper East Side Bondi Pty Ltd, an additional $22,050 for the wage theft.
She has also been ordered to back-pay the workers in full.
Staff walk off job within months
Within months of the Upper East Side Bondi restaurant and bar opening in 2017, chefs and floor staff had walked off the job over wage theft complaints.
Fair Work commenced an investigation and formed a belief that Gelonese failed to pay proper wages and entitlements. For example, penalties for weekend, evenings and public holiday work.
Furthermore, the regulator alleged the venue failed to pay overtime rates and termination pay.
As a consequence, inspectors issued Gelonese with two Compliance Notices requiring her to calculate and back-pay what she owed.
She subsequently failed to do so.
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Gelonese is an Instagram poser.
At the same time she allegedly couldn’t afford to pay her staff, she portrayed herself on social media as living a lavish life that included overseas holidays.
A number of businesses previously claimed to be owed money by Gelonese and her company for work done for her restaurant and bar.
They include Roxy Jacenko’s prominent PR firm Sweaty Betty, allegedly owed $10,102.
Additionally, Gelonese owed a labour hire company $37,000 and consultancy firm JRM Hospitality, $36,745.
Glamourous boss is a grub
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan described Gelonese’s conduct as “disgraceful”.
“This awful boss seems to have plenty of money to travel the world, yet refuses to pay her staff their proper wages – what a grub,” he said.
Mr Heffernan also warned employers that Compliance Notices are not optional.
“Compliance Notices are a chance for an employer to rectify underpayments without incurring any penalties,” Mr Heffernan said.
“Employers who ignore them will not only have to back-pay what they owe, but they will also face huge penalties. This is exactly what has happened to Ms Gelonese.
“And considering she is now facing further legal action by the regulator, it seems she is a very slow learner.”
More alleged wage theft
Fair Work says it has recently commenced a second litigation against Gelonese and her company for additional alleged underpayments.
The regulator also alleges Gelonese provided false or misleading information and documents to Fair Work Inspectors to hide the wage theft.
A directions hearing will commence on 1 February 2022.
Mr Heffernan advised anyone who is not being paid their proper wages and entitlements to seek expert advice from an employment law specialist.
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