A court has awarded penalties to a sacked security guard in a win for Industrial Relations Claims.
The decision to award pecuniary penalties of $4,000 to the worker is unusual, because the Crown normally receives penalties.
Court awards penalties to security guard
Trevor Wehmeyer worked as a security guard for 1 Stop Security for more than six years and then dismissed in August 2017.
The company failed to pay him his accrued annual leave entitlements, in addition to loadings totalling almost $30,000.
The employer claimed it could not afford the worker, but Miles Heffernan from IR Claims said that is “no excuse”.
“If you can’t afford to pay your workers their legal wages and entitlements, then you can’t afford to be in business,” he said.
Mr Heffernan is a strong advocate for pecuniary penalties to be paid to workers in wage theft cases.
“The cost of chasing stolen wages costs is usually more than what is owed, and as a consequence, greedy bosses get away with wage theft.”
Company contravened Fair Work Act
In the Federal Circuit Court, Judge Michael Jarrett said the company contravened the Fair Work Act by:
- failing to pay Mr Wehmeyer his accrued annual leave when his employment ended,
- in addition to failing to pay a special loading also owed on that leave.
The Court ordered 1 Stop Security pay him $27,586 compensation.
Furthermore, Judge Jarrett awarded $4,000 pecuniary penalties paid to the worker.
“The court usually orders pecuniary penalties paid to the Crown, so workers end up losing money chasing their wages,” Mr Heffernan said.
“Judge Jarrett should be applauded for his thoughtful and just ruling.
“Pecuniary penalties paid to the worker, or their representatives, make it possible to recover stolen their wages and entitlements.”
Workers who need help recovering stolen wages can call our team at Industrial Relations Claims on
1300 045 466
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