Navigation

Another 7-Eleven store prosecuted

Another 7-Eleven store in Brisbane has allegedly been short-changing its workers tens of thousands of dollars.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has announced legal action against the operators of a 7-Eleven outlet on Boundary Road, West End.

Facing Court is franchisee Sheng-Chieh Lo and his company Mai Pty Ltd.

The Fair Work Ombudsman claims 12 staff, including international students, were underpaid a total of $82,661 in the year to September, 2014.

The Boundary Road store was one of 20 7-Eleven stores targeted for surprise night-time visits as part of a tri-State operation in September, 2014.

The litigation takes to seven the number of 7-Eleven operators to face Court since 2009.

Earlier this month, the Fair Work Ombudsman announced legal proceedings against the operators of two other 7-Eleven outlets in the Brisbane CBD.

It is alleged that Mr Lo paid flat hourly rates as low as $13 an hour and tried to conceal the underpayments by creating false employment records.

Mr Lo allegedly made false entries into the 7-Eleven head office payroll system.

He and his company allegedly also knowingly provided false time-and-wage records to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

When Fair Work inspectors confronted Mr Lo with evidence of the underpayments, he provided bank records to indicate he had back-paid the employees, according to documents filed with the Federal Circuit Court.

It is alleged that these documents were false or misleading because they did not show that many of the employees had allegedly repaid those amounts to Mr Lo.

In one instance, Mr Lo allegedly received money from an employee in advance, which he then transferred into their account.

Mr Lo faces maximum penalties of up to $10,400 per contravention and Mai Pty Ltd faces penalties of up to $54,000 per contravention.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking Court Orders for Mai Pty Ltd to fully back-pay the workers any outstanding amounts.

It is alleged the employees were underpaid total amounts ranging from $1673 to $21,966.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking injunctions restraining Mr Lo and his company from underpaying workers in future and from seeking or accepting any back-payment of wages from current or former employees.

Orders are also being sought for Mai Pty Ltd to display an in-store notice informing employees of entitlements and to undertake an audit of its compliance with workplace laws and report the results to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane on February 29.

Need help with HR and compliance?

Most businesses - including small businesses - are now covered by the national Fair Work system created by the Fair Work Act 2009.

Fair work Inspectors appointed by the Fair Work Ombudsman have the power to enter a workplace at any time during working hours to inspect records and ensure compliance: Read more about fines and penalties: Fair Work Act 2009

HR Managers, Directors and people responsible for payroll and administration functions also risk personal fines under Section 550 of the Fair Work Act 2009.

Need help with HR and compliance? Workforce Guardian HR Solutions