A federal judge has given a Queensland businessman in the security industry a $51,400 fine and a Court Order that makes him personally liable for underpaid wages. In addition, the judge has fined the businessman’s company $257,000.
The penalties are the result of legal action by the Fair Ombudsman (FWO).
The Court Order, which is unprecedented, should send shock waves through the security industry and other industries that take advantage of low-paid workers. This man deliberately underpaid some security guards he employed and the Court Order says he must repay them out of his own pocket.
The judge also issued an injunction that says he must never underpay security guards in the future.
As further deterrent, the judge suspended twenty-five per cent of the personal $51,400 fine. It will be activated if he does the same thing again within the next five years.
All employers need to get the message that the FWO is serious about punishing bosses who exploit workers and has the support of the Federal Court.
If you’re an employer and think you may be contravening the Fair Work Act, or even if you are unsure, start getting your house in order now.
Last week, in How to safely dob in a dodgy employer, we told you about the anonymous online report form the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has introduced. This is making it very easy for anyone to inform the FWO about employers who aren't complying with workplace law.
You can bet that as word spreads about anonymous report form, the FWO will be busy gathering information and preparing to take action.
It is safe to assume many people have used the form already. There are many employers who need to be reported.
Do you think someone may want to report you?
Call us today for a confidential chat about how we can help you.