The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against Martina Corp Pty Ltd which operates Bare Witness café in Sydney’s Rhodes.

In court the company faces a penalty of up to $33,300 for allegedly failing to comply with a Compliance Notice issued by a Fair Work inspector.

The regulator carried out an investigation after receiving a request for assistance from a migrant worker, on a temporary graduate visa, who had been employed as a full time worker at the café during the period of July 2020 and March 2021.

A compliance notice was issued to the company in June 2021, as it was believed that the worker had not been paid all entitlements owed under the Restaurant Industry Award 2020 and the National Employment Standards.

It is alleged that the worker was paid an hourly flat rate of $21.54, resulting in the overall underpayment of his full-time minimum wage, overtime rates, penalty rates for weekend and public holiday work as well as meal break and annual leave entitlements.

Allegedly, Martina Corp Pty Ltd had without reasonable failed to comply with the Compliance Notice which requested it to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements.

The Ombudsman is also seeking an order to comply with the Compliance Notice which requires Martina Corp Pty Ltd to rectify the alleged underpayments in full, plus interest and super annuation.

A directions hearing is listed in Sydney on 20 20 May 2022.

Image credit: Parraparents