A Snap Fitness franchisee is facing $31,500 in penalties for allegedly underpaying a receptionist.
The company also allegedly failed to comply with requests from the Fair Work Ombudsman to rectify the wage theft.
Snap Fitness facing penalties for allegedly underpaying receptionist
Facing the Federal Circuit Court is Leo Fitness Pty Ltd, which runs three Snap Fitness outlets in Sydney.
Fair Work commenced an investigation as a result of receiving a complaint about wage theft from the 21 year-old receptionist.
Inspectors believed that Leo Fitness failed to pay the worker any wages for two months of casual work between May and July 2019.
As a result, the company allegedly failed to pay lawful:
- minimum wages,
- Saturday penalty rates
- and casual loadings.
Inspectors subsequently issued a Compliance Notice requiring the company to calculate and back-pay the worker.
However, the regulator alleges Leo Fitness failed to comply with the Notice, and subsequently commenced legal action.
“NEW LAWS MAKING A WAGE THEFT A CRIME INTRODUCED TO QUEENSLAND PARLIAMENT”
Fair Work continues to enforce workplace laws
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the business failed to rectify the underpayments, despite the regulator offering several opportunities for it to do so.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Fair Work says it is employing a “proportionate approach” to regulation.
However, Ms Parker said the regulator will continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.
“Under the Fair Work Act, Compliance Notices are important tools used by inspectors if they form a belief that an employer has breached workplace laws.
“Where employers do not comply with our requests, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order the business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”
Fair Work is seeking penalties against Leo Fitness, in addition to a court order requiring the company to rectify the underpayments, plus interest.
The Federal Circuit Court has a directions hearing listed in Sydney on 23 October, 2020.
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