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Low Life Boss Penalised $72,000 For Ripping Off 71 Year-old Cook

Low life boss penalised $72,000 for ripping off 71 year-old cook

A low life boss has been penalised $72,576 for underpaying a 71 year-old cook by $12,658 over four months.

In addition to the wage theft, the employer also failed to keep proper wage and time records.

Low life boss penalised for ripping off cook

Luke McGrath (pictured) used to own several ‘Wok Me’ outlets in Queensland and the ACT selling noodle rice and sushi dishes.

The Federal Circuit Court penalised him $12,096 and his company an additional $60,480.

The elderly cook worked at the ‘Wok Me’ outlet at Rockhampton in Queensland.

McGrath paid him flat rates ranging from $20.92 to $25.20 an hour.

As a result, he failed to pay lawful minimum wages as outlined under the award.

In fact, the underpayments meant McGrath effectively didn’t pay the cook anything for eight weeks.

He also failed to pay overtime, annual leave and superannuation.

The Court also found McGrath failed to keep proper wage and time records.



Criminal penalties needed

Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from Industrial Relations Claims says Mr McGrath deserved to be criminally charged.

“Wage theft is currently not a crime, so low lifes like Mr McGrath can get away with ripping off their workers,” he said.

“I mean, what sort of a person steals money from a 71 year-old worker, and not pay them for eight weeks?

“Older workers are particularly vulnerable to exploitation because their opportunities for employment are limited.

“If Mr McGrath faced criminal prosecution, and risked a conviction or jail sentence like all other thieves do, then maybe he would think twice before committing wage theft.”

Employer must engage auditor

In addition to the penalties, Judge Gregory Egan ordered McGrath to engage an external auditor to check wages at businesses he is now operating.

Additionally, he must also complete online education courses for employers on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

The Queensland government is currently holding a public inquiry into wage theft, with the introduction of criminal penalties being considered by the committee.

It is due to make its recommendations in November.


Please call our team at Industrial Relations Claims today on

1300 045 466

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