The operator of a Fun Tea store is facing court for allegedly ripping off workers by more than $180,000.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is taking the legal action following a violent assault at the Adelaide store.
A customer slapped an employee across the face when she complained to her boss about wage theft.
A video of the assault has been viewed tens of millions of times.
Fun Tea store in court
Fair Work is taking the legal action against Yuxuan Group Pty Ltd, which operates ‘Fun Tea’ outlets on Gouger Street, York Street and Rundle Mall.
The regulator alleges the company underpaid 20 staff a total of $186,895, in addition to breaching record-keeping and pay slip laws.
Also facing court is former Yuxuan Group director, Yang Su, for her alleged involvement in the record-keeping and pay slip breaches.
Inspectors allege Yuxuan Group paid the workers unlawful flat rates of $10 to $18 per hour.
As a result, the company allegedly failed to pay lawful:
- minimum wage rates;
- overtime rates;
- penalty rates for evenings, weekends, public holidays; and
Fair Work also alleges Yuxuan Group failed to provide meal breaks or the minimum engagement requirements on occasions.
Investigation followed assault
Fair Work commenced an investigating after a video of a violent assault at the Gouger Street store went viral.
The video shows customer Lei “Gavin” Guo slapping a worker who was making a complaint about wage theft.
He later told the Adelaide Magistrates Court the young victim had been rude to him and his wife.
He also claimed he mistakenly believed she was complaining to her manager about him.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:
Community expects conviction
Magistrate John Fahey subsequently convicted Guo of assault, telling him the community expected a conviction, ABC News reports.
“The assault was delivered with significant force and was delivered without warning.
“The victim did not anticipate it and took no action to defend herself.
“You could have hurt this young woman and a blow to the head carries with it a significant risk of injury.”
Magistrate Fahey handed Guo a two-and-a-half-year good behaviour bond rather than a jail sentence.
Penalties for wage theft
Meanwhile, Fair Work is seeking penalties against Yuxuan Group for the alleged wage theft.
The company is facing penalties of up to $66,600 per breach and Ms Su faces penalties of up to $13,320 per breach.
Fair Work is also seeking a court order requiring the company to back-pay the 20 workers in full.
The Federal Circuit and Family Court has a directions hearing listed on 9 November 2021.
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