Acland Street

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the sole director of three Souvlaki GR stores on behalf of five workers.

It’s alleged the staff members — who worked at Souvlaki GR Ormond, Thornbury and St Kilda between August 2020 and March 2021 — were underpaid minimum wage rates, overtime rates, weekend and public holiday penalty rates, annual leave entitlements and payment in lieu of notice.

Inspectors took action, issuing three compliance notices to GR St Kilda Pty Ltd, Souvlaki GR Ormond Pty Ltd and Souvlaki GR Thornbury Pty Ltd in October 2021 and the sole director of the companies Despina Karagiozis.

However, the notices were not addressed, with Karagiozis now set to appear in court on 8 August in Melbourne.

“Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees,” says Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker.

“A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”

The companies are each facing a penalty of up to $33,000 and Karagiozis is looking at penalties of up to $6,660 per breach for her alleged involvement.

The regulator is also seeking orders for the companies to comply with the compliance notices, which includes calculating and rectifying the alleged underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.