Staff In Pizza Joint Short on Wage

Two La Porchetta restaurants have been operating with smaller wages being had out to employees. Thinking that drinks and pizza were in the house, the operator thought underpaying was justified. 

The two franchises are owned by Ruby Chand who gave employees $10.50 instead of the standard $10.80, thinking everything was compensated through food and drinks that were free. 

Federal government legally filed a suit against Chand for underpayments to 111 employees. These cooks, kitchen attendants and waiters has the right to collect a sum of $250,000 dated July 2009 to February 2012. 

"We thought that we could give them free food and drink to compensate everything. Instead of someone getting paid $10.80, we were paying $10.50," Chand explained as he elaborates that the ombudsman was consulted with "in kind" payments four years ago. 

Aside from the findings in the hourly rate, Chand has also paid less in terms of thousands of dollars. For instance, employee Omar Popal was entitled for a $34,600 salary for 20 months but has received only $16,100. Demi Bradford experienced the same incident and has recieved only $18,000. 

The law breaker did not talk to the Media about the said matter as his lawyer advised and investigations were said to be started after complaints from one the employee's parents were filed. 

Chand also claims his mistakes or underpaying is not realized and refuses to face the court, stating it was a "simple error" and that the free food and drinks were valuable where he lost more money than what he should have paid out. 

He also claims he was treated unfairly as the inspector from the Fair Work Ombudsman's Office did a campaign door to door. 

"She went knocking on peoples' doors and told them they were supposed to get paid $18 or $19 [an hour], not even realising this [was incorrect]," he said. 

All issues are to be faced in court in September.
Posted by Diane Araga, on July 9, 2013 at 4:00 PM