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Sushi Operator Allegedly Falsified Records To Cover Up $33,000 Wage Theft

Sushi operator allegedly falsified records to cover up $33,000 wage theft

A former sushi operator is accused of falsifying records to cover up a $33,000 wage theft.

As a result of the alleged underpayments and document breaches, she is facing tens of thousands of dollars in penalties.

Sushi operator allegedly falsified records

Facing the Federal Circuit Court is Lydia Chang, who ran three ‘Sushi Revolution’ outlets in Newcastle.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Chang failed to pay four workers their proper:

  • minimum ordinary hourly rates;
  • overtime rates; and
  • penalty rates.

Instead, she paid them a flat rate for performing kitchen, customer service and other duties between January and September 2016.

Chang also allegedly failed to pay lawful allowances, superannuation and annual leave entitlements.

Furthermore, she also allegedly made hundreds of dollars in unlawful deductions from two workers’ wages.

In total, Chang allegedly underpaid the four employees $33,226.

False records

The affected workers are all from overseas and working in Australia on working holiday visas.

Fair Work alleges Chang, who ran the sushi stores at the time, is responsible for the wage theft scam.

Her company, Sushi Revolution Pty Ltd, sold the business and went into liquidation in 2017.

Fair Work also alleges Chang provided inspectors with false or misleading pay records for staff.

As a result, she is facing penalties of up to $10,800 per contravention.

Chang has back-paid the outstanding wages.

The Federal Circuit Court in Sydney has a directions hearing listed on August 15.

Overseas workers vulnerable to exploitation

Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from IR Claims says overseas workers are vulnerable to exploitation.

“Overseas workers are particularly vulnerable to wage theft, because in many cases, they do not understand their workplace rights,” he said.

“So therefore, it’s easy for a greedy boss to take advantage of them.

“While this case is to be determined by the court, I believe we need to introduce criminal penalties for wage theft, so unscrupulous bosses are jailed if they steal from their workers.”

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