Fast-food vendor accused of underpaying workers and fabricating records

by John Maguire22 Jun 2016
A fast-food outlet in Sydney is alleged to have fabricated employment records and underpaid 11 employees from Korea to the tune of more than $108,000, with the Fair Work Ombudsman taking legal action against the sandwich chain in Sydney’s Federal Circuit Court.

Jae Kwang Kim, owner of six Little Vienna outlets in Sydney, is alleged to have employed 10 South Korean employees on 417 working holiday visas and one on a student visa, who were allegedly underpaid a total of $108,931 between December 2012 and April 2015. An individual worker is alleged to have been underpaid $29,000. The majority of workers did not speak English, and are alleged to have been paid just $10 per hour for their first two weeks of work and a flat rate of $11-$13 per hour.

In addition, the Fair Work Ombudsman alleges that Kim and his company fabricated records for inspectors, to show that staff were being paid more than they were. Regulations regarding pay-slips and minimum engagement hours are also alleged to have been breached.
According to acting Fair Work Ombudsman Mark Scully, employees were paid in full late last year, with the legal action proceeding because of the seriousness of the company’s conduct and the involvement of vulnerable overseas workers.

Kim could face penalties of up to $10,200 per contravention, with Little Vienna as a company possibly facing penalties of $51,000 per contravention. The FWO is also seeking to force Kim and his company to go through a professional audit of compliance and training in workplace laws.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has also revealed the troubling statistic that nearly 12 percent of all requests for assistance over the past financial year came from visa holders. No less than $1.6 million was recouped for underpaid visa workers during this time.  



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