The operators of a Gold Coast restaurant are facing huge penalties for allegedly ripping off a visa holder.
The Fair Work Ombudsman also alleges the business provided false and misleading documents to cover up the wage theft.
The company faces a maximum penalty of $54,000 per contravention, while the owners each face a maximum penalty of $10,800 per contravention.
Facing the Federal Circuit Court is Fu Kang GC Pty Ltd, in addition to company directors Ms Yingchun “Christine” Wang and Mr Liangtao “Frank” Zhao.
Wang and Zhao run the Fu Kang Gold Coast Chinese Restaurant in Labrador, and previously, the Memory Taste of Fu Kang in Southport.
Fair Work commenced an investigation after receiving a complaint from a cook – a Chinese national sponsored by the business on a 457 skilled visa.
The regulator alleges Wang and Zhao made the employee work between 22 and 87 hours a week.
They allegedly paid him in cash – between $200 and $600 a week – resulting in an hourly rate between $2.30 and $12.85 a week.
Between July 2015 to January 2017, Wang and Zhao allegedly failed to pay the cook proper:
- minimum ordinary hourly rates;
- overtime rates;
- penalty rates for morning, evening, weekend and public holiday hours; and
- annual leave and superannuation entitlements.
The alleged underpayments totalled $46,555, and have not been repaid.
False and misleading records
Fair Work also alleges Wang and Zhao provided false and misleading documents to inspectors on three occasions.
Some indicated they paid the cook $862 net per week or $26.95 per hour.
It is also alleged the company did not issue pay slips and failed to keep employee records.
Gold Coast restaurant facing huge penalties
The regulator is seeking penalties against Fu Kang GC, Wang and Zhao.
It is also seeking a court order for Wang and Zhao to:
- rectify the underpayments;
- undertake training in relation to their workplace obligations; and
- engage a third party to audit the company.
The Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane has a directions hearing listed on 21 December 2020.
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