A staggering $155,000 shortfall in staff wages has seen the operators of two burger outlets face court, with equally staggering fines on the cards if they are found guilty.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched legal action against Sangmoon ‘Johnny’ Na, the sole director of Miel Container and HWMJ, which operate two Miel Container outlets in Brisbane.
Between 2013 and 2016, Miel Container is alleged to have underpaid eight workers to the tune of $11,652.09, while HWMJ allegedly shortchanged five workers at its store over a seven-month period last year by $44,162.20.
The shortfall arose as a result of workers allegedly receiving flat hourly rates of as little as $10, as well as not being paid anything for up to seven days for ‘trial periods’.
Underpayments for the casual workers vary between $3,212 up to $25,432.
Mr Na and his brother Sanhoon Na, the manager of one of the outlets, are also accused of breaching record-keeping and payslip requirements.
If found guilty of all allegations, the $155,814.29 bill to back pay the affected workers could pale in comparison to additional penalties, which can be as much as $10,800 per contravention for both individuals and $54,000 per contravention for the businesses.
The case comes just days after a Perth cleaning company was slapped with one of the biggest fines ever issued for breaching Fair Work laws for not paying workers anything.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.