The operators of three Din Tai Fung restaurants have been sued by Fair Work for allegedly underpaying workers and falsifying records.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is alleging that seventeen cooks, waiters, restaurant managers and a dishwasher across the three Sydney and Melbourne-based restaurants were allegedly underpaid $157,025.
Fair Work has taken action against the operators of DTF World Square Pty Ltd, which operate Din Tai Fung restaurants located in Sydney CBD, Chatswood and Melbourne CBD’s Emporium shopping centre.
Selden Farlane Lachlan Investments, which employed workers at the Emporium store, is also facing court.
Most of the workers were from Indonesia and China on student or employer-sponsored visas, and 10 of the 17 workers were under the age of 26 when they were allegedly underpaid.
The alleged underpayments occurred between November 2017 and June 2018 for most workers, ranging from $2,165 to $50,588, with the majority of this sum relating to unpaid overtime.
Each of the companies are facing penalties as high as $630,000 for each serious contravention and $63,000 per other contravention, with ‘accessories’ to the tune of $12,600 per contravention.
A directions hearing is scheduled in Sydney’s Federal Court on 28 September.
Fair Work is also alleging the two companies provided both accurate and false records to the Ombudsman, where false records understated hours worked and falsifying rates of casual pay.
Falsifying records and underpaying casual, weekend and penalty rates are serious contraventions of the Fair Work Act 2009, Fair Work is alleging.
“Employers are on notice that the Fair Work Ombudsman is making use of the Protecting Vulnerable Workers amendments to the Fair Work Act to hold to account those who commit serious contraventions,” said Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker.
Matters involving migrant workers – who are heavily reliant on their employers and may not have a full understanding of their workplace rights – are prioritised, she added.
“We encourage workers with concerns to contact us, including anonymously.”
Workers can call the Fair Work infoline at 13 13 94. You can also leave an anonymous tip-off through their website.
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