A former restaurant which underpaid its chefs, cooks, waiters and dishwashers has copped a $40,000 penalty.
It has also been ordered to back-pay 16 of its former employees almost $22,000 plus interest.
The Federal Workplace Ombudsman took the company to the NSW Chief Industrial Magistrates Court after receiving a complaint from one of its workers last year.
Global G.T.O. Pty Ltd - which formerly traded as Amici Italian Restaurant on Marine Parade at Kingscliff – was penalised $33,280.
Its owner and sole director John Slavic was also fined $6656.
Federal Workplace Ombudsman inspectors discovered the restaurant had underpaid 16 of its workers a total of $21,986 – one of them almost $7000.
The underpayments were the result of incorrect pay rates being used, non-payment of overtime, weekend and public holiday rates and non-payment of casual loadings, minimum shift payments and annual leave entitlements.
Workplace Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell said legal action was initiated after Slavic refused to rectify the underpayments.
Mr Campbell said most employers who were found to be underpaying workers agreed voluntarily to remedy the problem, but some did not, and litigation was always an option.
The maximum penalty for breaches of the Workplace Relations Act is $33,000.