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Notorious Plumber Back In Court Again Over Wage Theft

Notorious plumber back in court again over wage theft

A notorious plumber is back in court again accused of underpaying a young worker almost $4,000.

Michael Pulis, from Pulis Plumbing Pty Ltd, is also accused of falsifying employment records.

Less than a year ago, a court penalised Pulis and his company a total of $121,500 for underpaying another young worker.

In imposing the penalties, the Judge described his conduct as “outrageous exploitation of a young person”.

Notorious greedy plumber back in court again

In the latest wage theft case, the Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Pulis paid a 23 year-old worker third-year apprentice rates for six weeks work.

However, the worker had not signed a formal apprenticeship agreement.

Therefore, the worker should have received much higher minimum rates and entitlements as a plumber’s labourer.

Pulis allegedly failed to pay his employee:

  • minimum hourly rates;
  • overtime pay;
  • allowances; and
  • leave entitlements.

Pulis also failed to pay superannuation.

Furthermore, Fair Work alleges that Pulis failed to:

  • give the employee written notice of termination;
  • pay one week’s pay in lieu of that notice;
  • keep proper records; and
  • pay outstanding entitlements.

Fair Work also claims that Pulis gave inspectors falsified apprenticeship documents and falsified time-and-wages records.


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Young workers exploited by tradespeople

Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from Industrial Relations Claims says there are strict laws governing apprenticeships.

“A employee can only be considered an apprentice when a formal apprenticeship agreement is entered into,” he said.

“That involves signing the appropriate documents and also filing them with the relevant state authority.

“Unfortunately, it is common for tradespeople to exploit young workers by using them as labourers while paying them apprentice rates.”

Penalties

Pulis faces penalties of up to $12,600 for each breach while his company faces penalties of up to $63,000 for each breach.

Fair Work is also seeking orders requiring Pulis to back-pay the employee’s superannuation entitlements.

The Federal Circuit Court has a directions hearing listed on 4 December.


Please call our team at Industrial Relations Claims today on

1300 045 466

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