The operator of the Bakers Boutique & Patisserie retail bakery outlets is facing court for ripping off his workers.
The Fair Work Ombudsman accuses the retailer of failing to comply with two Compliance Notices.
Bakery operator in court
Facing the Federal Circuit Court is Gothic Downs Pty Ltd and company director Giuseppe Conforto.
Conforto and his company operate Bakers Boutique & Patisserie outlets in various Melbourne shopping centres.
Fair Work inspectors commenced an investigation as a result of receiving complaints about wage theft from two former employees.
As a result of the investigation, Fair Work alleged Conforto underpaid the employees:
- their minimum wages,
- early morning shift rates,
- weekend and public holiday penalty rates
- and also overtime rates.
Inspectors subsequently issued Conforto with two Compliance Notices requiring him to calculate and back-pay the outstanding wages and entitlements, including superannuation.
Failure to comply
The regulator alleges that Conforto and his company subsequently failed to comply with the Notices.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator will enforce workplace laws in a proportionate manner during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Under the Fair Work Act, Compliance Notices are important tools used by inspectors if they form a belief that an employer has breached workplace laws.
“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.”
Gothic Downs faces penalties of up to $31,500 per contravention, while Conforto faces penalties of up to $6,300 per contravention.
Fair Work is also seeking court orders requiring Gothic Downs to comply with the Compliance Notices, including rectifying underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.
The Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne has a directions hearing listed for 6 August 2020.
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