Adrian Richardson of La Luna Bistro in Carlton North is being accused of underpaying staff members, just a fortnight after fellow restaurateur George Calombaris was in the headlines for similar breaches.

According to SMH, one La Luna employee – who signed a non-disclosure statement – has been backpaid up to $10,000. It’s reported that a kitchen hand was paid a flat rate of $14 an hour for more than six months before being backpaid $3,165.

SMH reports that a former waitress – claiming to be owed more than $7,900 – was never paid penalty rates and that Richardson claimed a workplace agreement was in place that exempted him from having to pay them.

Hospitality magazine contacted Fair Work and a spokesperson confirmed that in recent months the Fair Work Ombudsman has received enquiries from workers in relation to La Luna Bistro.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman has been assisting these workers. We cannot make further comment at this stage,” the spokesperson said.

Earlier this month, Made Estabishment, the restaurant group operated by chef George Calombaris, admitted to inadvertently underpaying current and former staff members a total of $2.6 million.

In a statement issued to staff members and also released to the public, the group stated that 162 of its 430 team members had been affected.

The underpayments affected staff at The Press Club, Gazi and Hellenic Republic, but not to the fast casual concept, Jimmy Grant’s.


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