13 April 2010
Melbourne company fined $35,000 for sacking workers who complained about pay
The operators of a Melbourne company have been fined a total of $35,000 for sacking two of its workers for complaining about being underpaid.
Datasend Australia Pty Ltd, which operates a printing and mail-out business at Braeside, has been fined $25,000; the business’s production manager Graham Berry, of Doncaster East, has been fined $6000; and Datasend Australia director Phillip Gray, of Camberwell, has been fined $4000.
The fines, which must be paid by May 9, are the result of a prosecution by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
The fines were imposed in the Federal Court in Melbourne after Berry and Gray admitted they were involved in Datasend contravening freedom of association provisions of workplace laws.
Gray and Berry admitted they were involved in Datasend dismissing a full-time warehouse supervisor in 2007 because he had complained to a national regulator about being underpaid annual leave entitlements and because he was a member, or proposed to become a member, of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.
Berry admitted he was also involved in Datasend dismissing a casual worker in 2007 because she had complained to a national regulator that her minimum hourly rate was being underpaid.
The casual worker had been employed to collate brochures.
Datasend has compensated the workers for the financial loss resulting from their dismissals and rectified the underpayments of the workers.
Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the case sends a message that breaching workers’ rights is a very serious matter.
“We will not hesitate to pursue companies and individuals who engage in this sort of behaviour,” Mr Campbell said.
The Fair Work Ombudsman promotes harmonious, productive and co-operative workplaces. It also monitors compliance and investigates breaches of national workplace laws.
Employers or employees seeking assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fairwork.gov.au For translations call 13 14 50.
Ryan Pedler, Media & Stakeholder Relations Senior Adviser
(03) 9954 2561, 0434 365 924
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