The former operators of a service station are facing legal action after allegedly making a worker pay for the losses when customers drove off without paying for fuel.
Kamaldeep Singh and his wife Uma Singh are facing the Federal Circuit Court after allegedly breaching the Fair Work Act by making the worker pay for customer drive offs, in addition to making him pay part of the business’s income tax payments.
Unlawful to make worker pay for customer theft
Industrial relations advocate Miles Heffernan from WAGETHEFT.net.au said it is unlawful to make a worker pay for customer theft.
“The Fair Work Act specifically prohibits unreasonable requirements for a worker to pay an employer money relating to performance of work, and that’s what they’ve allegedly done here,” he said.
“Your boss cannot dock your wages for customer theft, or balancing tills, or even if you make a mistake, like breaking something, or getting an order wrong in a restaurant or cafe.”
Employer also allegedly underpaid workers $50,000
Mr and Mrs Singh and their company Sinpak Pty Ltd once owned the Metro Petroleum petrol station on the Pacific Highway in Doyalson on the New South Wales Central Coast.
In addition to allegedly making workers pay for customer thefts, the Fair Work Ombudsman also alleges the couple underpaid two migrant workers over $50,000 by failing to pay minimum rates for ordinary hours, penalty rates for overtime, weekend and public holidays, loadings and various leave entitlements.
The workers were Indian nationals and were employed as console operators.
It is alleged that from May 2015 to August 2016, Sinpek underpaid the male employee $28,157 and the female employee $24,607.
The FWO also alleges that Sinpek failed to provide the workers payment in lieu of notice for termination, failed to fully comply with a Notice to Produce employment records, and breached record-keeping and pay slips laws.
Migrant workers vulnerable
“Unfortunately migrant workers on visas are particularly vulnerable to wage theft, because they either don’t understand their workplace rights, or they are afraid to complain because they may lose their job and their right to stay in the country,” Mr Heffernan said.
Sinpek faces penalties of up to $54,000 for each breach and up to $27,000 for the record-keeping and pay slip breaches, while Mr and Mrs Singh face penalties of up to $10,800 for each breach and up to $5,400 for record-keeping and pay slip breaches.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court on December 21.
If you have not received your proper wages and entitlements, or are considering legal action to recover stolen wages, we can help.
Please call our specialist team at WAGETHEFT.net.au on
1300 1 THEFT (1300 184 338)
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