The operators of an island resort restaurant in Queensland are facing court for allegedly underpaying a staff member then terminating her employment via text message after she asked to be paid the minimum wage.

The international student is said to have been underpaid almost $2,000 for her work as a waitress at Fire and Stone Restaurant on Moreton Island.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against Golden Vision Food and Beverage Services and its former director, Jia Ning Wang. It’s the second time the Ombudsman has taken action against the company and Wang.

It’s alleged the company failed to pay the then 21 year old American student during her two week tenure, from 1 December to 15 December, 2014. Entitled to $1,963, the waitress was reimbursed almost a year after the payments were due.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also alleging that Wang terminated the waitress’ employment by text message, in response to her making complaints and enquiries about her entitlement to be paid the minimum wage.

The matter is listed for a directions hearing on 4 April.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said young workers, particularly international students, are among the most vulnerable to exploitation.

“There are minimum pay rates, they apply to everyone and they are not negotiable,” she said.


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