A global SIM card provider has been penalised $25,000 after being caught underpaying a worker for a second time.
The Federal Circuit Court found that Lyamobile Pty Ltd failed to pay an administrative employee in its Parramatta office in Sydney a total of $5,264 in overtime entitlements.
Worker required to work more than 38 hours a week
Between 2012 and 2015, the worker was routinely required to work more than 38 hours a week, including Saturday shifts, but was not paid the full overtime rates that she was entitled to under the Telecommunications Services Award.
In a separate matter, Lycamobile was penalised $59,000 for underpaying 13 other workers based in Adelaide and Brisbane a total of $28,034 in 2013.
Underpayment the result of ‘recklessness’
Judge Sylvia Emmett found that the underpayment was the result of “recklessness rather than mere accident” and that it was “egregious” that the company had failed to take steps to ensure compliance after being penalised in 2013.
“I accept that a meaningful penalty is one that sends a message to employers and the public at large that repeat offending is serious and should be treated as such by the Court,” she said.
Wage theft should be a criminal offence
Industrial relations advocate Miles Heffernan from WAGETHEFT.net.au once again called for deliberate and repeated wage theft to be made a criminal offence.
“Here we have an employer who has been penalised after being caught stealing from its workers, and then they’ve just gone ahead and done it again,” he said.
“These are the sorts of cases where the employer should be facing criminal convictions, or even jail time.
“Stealing from workers is never okay, but doing it again and again should be handled by the criminal justice system – just like all other forms of theft,” Mr Heffernan said.
The worker has now been back paid in full.
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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