21 September 2010
Chili’s restaurant operators fined
The operators of two Chili’s restaurants have been fined a total of $66,600 for underpaying teenage staff.
Chili’s (Shellharbour) Pty Ltd and Chili’s (Penrith) Pty Ltd have each been fined $33,000, in the Federal Magistrates Court in Sydney.
Magistrate Michael Lloyd-Jones imposed the fines after finding Chili’s (Penrith) underpaid one of its workers $1682 and Chili’s (Shellharbour) underpaid one of its staff $232.
The companies were also ordered to back-pay the employees, teenage girls aged 15 and 16, who were employed part-time.
The former group general manager of Restaurant Services Group Pty Ltd, Gavin Reynolds, of Mount Lambie, was also fined $600 after he admitted he was involved in underpaying two workers at a Chili’s restaurant in Wentworthville a total of $2450.
Restaurant Services Group managed Chili’s chain of restaurants at the time of the underpayments.
The fines are the result of a prosecution by the Fair Work Ombudsman and follow an extensive investigation by the Agency into the Chili’s chain of restaurants which started in 2007.
Restaurant Services Group Pty Ltd, Chili’s (Shellharbour) Pty Ltd and Chili’s (Penrith) Pty Ltd have all been subject to liquidation.
Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the prosecution was launched because young, vulnerable workers were underpaid and the employers had failed to comply with requests to rectify the matter.
This case is the third time the Fair Work Ombudsman has launched legal action in relation to Chili’s restaurants.
Restaurant Services Group director Alan Joseph Noor was fined $10,000 in 2008 for failing to provide employees with seven days access to a workplace agreement and information statements, and restaurant manager Imran Suleman was fined $300 for applying duress to an employee at Chili’s Texas Grill in Wollongong.
Also in 2008, Brinker Australia Pty Ltd, which was trading as Chili’s Texas Grill in Wollongong, was fined $39,000 for breaches relating to a workplace agreement and underpayment of a young employee.
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, Senior Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902
Richard Honey, Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
(03) 9954 2716, 0457 924 146