NATIONAL service station operator Freedom Fuels Australia Pty Ltd has been fined $46,200 for underpaying more than 200 employees, including 56 Victorians.
According to a media statement from the Fair Work Ombudsman, the Victorians at locations including Traralgon, Churchill, Moe, Morwell, Sale and Melbourne, were underpaid $73,905. Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson said the court’s decision sent a message that underpaying low-paid, vulnerable workers was a serious matter.
The fine was imposed by the Federal Magistrates Court in Brisbane after Freedom Fuels admitted it underpaid 234 employees, including juniors aged under 21 years and casual staff, in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales $191,197 between May 2006 and July 2009.
They were reportedly underpaid overtime rates and penalty rates for weekend, shift and public holiday work. Freedom Fuels Australia has reportedly directly back-paid the underpaid workers it has been able to locate.
Former employees of Freedom Fuels who believe the Collector of Public Monies may be holding back-pay owed to them should phone the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or use the ‘Unclaimed Money’ search facility available at www.fairwork.gov.au