The former owner and restaurant manager of a venue in Moreton Bay, Queensland, have copped penalties totalling $113,808 for underpaying migrant workers.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Fire and Stone restaurant manager Jia Ning Wang and owner Auspac Hospitality Management Pty Ltd underpaid nine workers a total of $2,239 in minimum wages and entitlements between March and October 2017. Most of the underpaid employees were overseas workers.
It’s alleged Wang and Auspac Hospitality Management Pty Ltd breached record-keeping and pay slip laws, which limited the ability of employees to track their legal entitlements.
Wang has been ordered to pay $38,808 by the Federal Circuit Court, with Auspac Hospitality Management Pty Ltd penalised $75.000.
But it’s not the first time Wang has been alleged of misconduct. Wang has previously been penalised by the Fair Work Ombudsman for underpaying workers on two occasions as has the former owner of Fire and Stone restaurant, Golden Vision Food and Beverage Services Pty Ltd, a company which Wang part-owned before it was sold to Auspac Hospitality Management Pty Ltd, placed in administration and dissolved.
In July 2016, Wang was penalised $3500 and Golden Vision Food and Beverage Services was penalised $17,500 for underpaying a Chinese backpacker $10 an hour.
In March 2017, Wang was penalised $20,366 and Golden Vision Food and Beverage Services $51,830 for underpaying an international student and dismissing her by text message after she refused to accept the below-award wages.
“We have taken three separate court actions against Mr Wang for his role in underpaying migrant workers,” says Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker.
“The message is clear – it is unacceptable to underpay migrant workers and we will pursue those consistently doing the wrong thing by their employees.”
The most recent underpayments have been rectified, however the March 2017 penalties to the international student remain unpaid.