The operators of a Crust Pizza outlet are facing court, accused of discriminating against a number of overseas workers.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges the store paid the overseas workers less than their Australian-born colleagues.
Crust pizza in court accused of discrimination
Anandh Kumarasamy and Haridas Raghuram, and their company QHA Foods, run the Crust outlet on Elizabeth Street in North Hobart.
The alleged discrimination involves three Bangladeshi nationals and one Indian national.
Fair Work alleges Kumarasamy and Raghuram underpaid them a total of $9,926 between January and July 2106.
The four workers in Australia on student visas performed duties including making and delivering pizzas, serving customers and cleaning.
The company allegedly paid them paid flat hourly rates of $12, plus $1 for every pizza delivery, and, as a result, they didn’t receive:
- minimum hourly rates,
- casual and evening loadings
- and penalty rates for weekend and public holiday work.
Additionally, it is alleged Kumarasamy and Raghuram paid the workers in cash and failed to provide payslips.
Australian workers paid higher rates
In contrast, the Australian employees received:
- higher minimum rates of more than $18 an hour,
- and $46.31 on public holidays,
- in addition to a cents-per-kilometre rate for deliveries.
Miles Heffernan, Litigation Director at Industrial Relations Claims, said if proven, the underpayments are clearly discrimination.
“Not only have these employers allegedly ripped off their overseas workers, but they have deliberately paid them much less than their Aussie co-workers,” he said.
“That’s blatant discrimination – treating someone less favourably based on their race or nation of origin.”
Furthermore, Kumarasamy and Raghuram allegedly provided inspectors with falsified records of hours worked by the four overseas workers.
QHA Foods faces maximum penalties of up to $54,000 per breach, while Kumarasamy and Raghuram face penalties of up to $10,800 per breach.
The Federal Circuit Court has listed the matter for a hearing on November 23.
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