A Gold Coast restaurant is facing $40,000 in penalties for allegedly stealing the wages of three workers.
The Fair Work Ombudsman also accuses the employer of ignoring a Compliance Notice requiring him to back-pay his staff.
Gold Coast restaurant facing penalties
Facing the Federal Circuit Court is WS Natural Food Pty Ltd, which operates a Korean restaurant called Sogongdong Tofu House.
Also facing court is the company’s sole director, Mr Seouk Woong Hong.
Fair Work commenced an investigation following complaints from the former employees.
The three young Korean nationals are in Australia on working holiday visas, and worked as waiters at the restaurant.
An inspector believed Hong failed to pay them proper wages and entitlements for work performed between June and October 2019.
For example, their:
- minimum wage rates;
- casual loadings; and
- penalty rates for weekend and public holiday shifts.
As a result, the inspector issued a Compliance Notice requiring Hong to calculate and back-pay the workers what they are owed.
Fair Work alleges that he subsequently failed, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the Notice.
It also says it gave Hong several chances to comply voluntarily before commencing legal action.
Fair Work is seeking a penalty against WS Natural Food and Hong.
The company is facing a maximum penalty of $31,500 while Hong faces a maximum penalty of $6,300.
Fair Work continues to enforce workplace laws
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said that the regulator will continue to enforce workplace laws despite the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“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.”
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