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Pizza rather than payment restaurateur fined A$335k

Thu, 12 Jun 2014
A restaurant owner in Melbourne has been fined A$335k (£187k) for underpaying teenage workers, instead offering them discounted pizza and soft drinks.

According to the Australian Associated Press, more than 100 young workers in pizza franchise owner Ruby Chand’s La Porchetta restaurants in Melbourne were underpaid more than A$250k from 2009 to 2012.

During a legal proceeding in a Federal Circuit Court last week [6 June], Judge John O'Sullivan imposed the fine and said the practice of offering discounted food and drink instead of meeting minimum pay requirements “belongs in the dark ages”.

Chand, from Tecoma, a town in the outskirts of Melbourne, was handed a personal fine of A$55,803 and two fines of A$139,507.50 for each franchisee company attached to his Pakenham and Berwick restaurants.

Chand must also pay the workers the entire underpaid amount, of which there is still A$79k outstanding, the Fair Work Ombudsman said.
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