FairWork Ombudsman – Recent Employer Prosecutions

The Fair Work Ombudsman regularly prosecutes employers who breach Australian employment laws such as the Fair Work Act.

Learn more > Avoid big fines and penalties.

  • A Perth cleaning company has been hit with near-record WA penalties of $306,000 for underpaying workers at a Perth hotel. (More)
  • The operators of a hair products retailing business have been penalised more than $70,000for exploiting vulnerable overseas workers (More)
  • The operators of a Gold Coast restaurant have been penalised more than $284,000 for underpaying overseas workers and using false records to try to cover it up. ( More)
  • The advice and knowledge of a bookkeeper was a central issue in a case that saw more than $100,000 of back-pay given to workers in Western Australia. (More)
  • 40% of United Petroleum Stores Underpaying Workers.  The Fair Work Ombudsman has blasted petrol giant United Petroleum for wide-spread underpayment of workers across its franchise network. ( More)
  • MasterChef judge and celebrity chef George Calombaris has been found guilty of underpaying 162 of his restaurants’ employees a total of up to $2.6m. After an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found payroll errors dating back 6 years. (More)
  • Caltex terminates 19 franchise agreements for non-compliance. Caltex has terminated agreements with 19 franchisees covering 43 sites for underpayment of employee entitlements and other significant workplace non-compliance issues. ( More)
  • Three-quarters of Pizza Hut outlets found to be non-compliant.
  • Employer found guilty of underpaying worker for over 20 years. A court has found an employer underpaid a worker by more than $230,000 because it “recklessly disguised the true legal nature” of a 20-year-plus employment relationship by classifying him as an independent contractor. ( More)
  • company, its director and payroll manager have been penalised $143,000 for underpaying workers $18,000. (More)
  • The master franchisor of the Yogurberry frozen yoghurt chain in Australia has been hit with $146,000 in penalties and an order for a national audit of the Yogurberry chain. The first time the Fair Work Ombudsman has secured penalties against a master franchisor for being an accessory to the exploitative practices of one its associated companies ( More)
  • Canberra carpenter and his company hit with $38,000 in penalties ( More)
  • Chemist Warehouse forced to back-pay workers over $3.5 million ( More)
  • Perth company fined $85,000 for failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment (More)
  • Record penalty against businessman who refused to clean up his act. A rogue Brisbane businessman has been penalised a record $126,540 and ordered to back-pay migrant workers almost $60,000 in a result that sends a warning that individuals can be held personally liable for exploitation of workers ( More)
  • The operators of a Gold Coast restaurant have been fined more than $23,000 after falsifying records for workers to make it appear they had worked fewer hours and been paid less than was actually the case.
  • Shopping Centre Trolley Collection Providers fined over $190,000
  • The operators of an Adelaide business have been fined a total of $6460 after failing to pay an $850 on-the-spot fine for not issuing pay-slips to two overseas workers.
  • Small business fined $58,000 for underpayment breach.
  • National advertising company and director fined $100,000 over underpayments.
  • The former operator of an Alice Springs café has been fined $1500 for record-keeping failures discovered during a Fair Work Ombudsman campaign. He was also ordered to complete training in relevant employment law for hiring employees and provide the Fair Work Ombudsman with evidence of having done so.
  • $100,000 penalty follows ‘particularly disturbing behaviour’ involving vulnerable Chinese chef.
  • A Malaysian restaurant in Perth has been fined $850 on the spot for failing to issue pay slips.
  • The operators of a two My Kitchen take-away food outlets have been prosecuted for underpaying staff after admitting they had no idea about minimum wage rates.
  • A Sydney manufacturing company and one of its directors will face Court after allegedly paying a Sri Lankan couple as little as $8 an hour. According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, the low wage rate resulted in the couple being short-changed more than $86,000. The owner and his company face penalties of up to $54,000 per breach.
  • A 7-Eleven operator in Sydney faces Court for underpaying two migrant employees almost $50,000 and created erroneous records for the workers. The owner and his company face penalties of up to $54,000 per breach.
  • Cotton On fined $278,000 by Fair Work Ombudsman.
  • 7-Eleven retail store operator in Queensland has been fined more than $21,000 after underpaying an overseas worker.
  • $1.3m back-pay for almost 900 staff at Super A-Mart retail stores.
  • The former operators of a Bendigo restaurant who repeatedly short-changed their employees have been fined a total of $142,000 following legal action by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
  • A Fremantle restaurant has ended up with a hefty bill for back-payment of wages after it was found to be short-changing its waiting staff. The matter is one of a number finalised by the Fair Work Ombudsman in and around Perth recently.
  • Recent audits by Fair Work Inspectors have found over 600 hospitality employers (cafes, restaurants and catering services) guilty of breaching employment laws.
  • A Melbourne business operator has been fined more than $228,000 after admitting she underpaid a vulnerable migrant employee because she thinks Australia’s minimum pay rates are “just crazy”.
  • Malgorzata Poniatowska recently won $466,000 from her employer, Employment Services Australia, in a discrimination claim upheld by the Federal Court of Appeal.
  • A Cairns businessman and his tour company have been penalised almost $100,000 in fines and back-pay orders after short-changing five backpackers and defiantly claiming they would “not get a cent” of it.
  • 123 former Sports Bar and Hungry Jacks employees at Newcastle airport are to be back-paid more than $472,000 after it was found they were being short-changed.
  • The operators of an Alice Springs café are facing Court after Fair Work Inspectors allegedly uncovered blatant record-keeping failures.
  • Thousands of aged care nurses, allied health workers and support staff are being reimbursed almost $4.8 million after their employer inadvertently underpaid their overtime rates for at least six years.
  • The Federal Circuit Court has imposed an unprecedented injunction restraining a NSW hairdresser from underpaying any staff he employs in the future.

Learn more > Avoid big fines and penalties.

Sean Wilson

Sean Wilson

Chief Operating Officer at Workforce Guardian
Sean Wilson is the Chief Operating Officer at Workforce Guardian. With responsibility for general management, marketing, sales, customer care, IT and business administration. This includes leading product development of industry leading cloud HR solutions and managing a national partner program of over 300 major partners/resellers such as Telstra. Sean has also been the Deputy Managing Director since 2015.
Sean Wilson

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About Author

Sean Wilson

Sean Wilson is the Chief Operating Officer at Workforce Guardian. With responsibility for general management, marketing, sales, customer care, IT and business administration. This includes leading product development of industry leading cloud HR solutions and managing a national partner program of over 300 major partners/resellers such as Telstra. Sean has also been the Deputy Managing Director since 2015.