Media release

15 Nov 2011

Adelaide poultry processor faces Court action over alleged underpayment of workers

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched a prosecution against the operator of an Adelaide company for allegedly underpaying seven employees more than $30,000.

Facing court is Adelaide man Andrew Sitarenos, who owns and runs Uncle Tom’s Fine Foods, a poultry processing and retailing business based at Wingfield.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Mr Sitarenos was centrally involved in underpaying seven employees a total of $31,327 between March, 2010 and May, 2011.

The employees, who were aged mainly in their 50s, worked in production, administrative, retail and tele-sales.

It is alleged the seven were variously underpaid wages, superannuation and annual leave entitlements.

Court documents further allege Mr Sitarenos was involved in failing to keep proper employment records and other contraventions of workplace laws relating to employee pay slips.

Fair Work inspectors discovered the alleged underpayments when they investigated complaints lodged by employees.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says a decision to prosecute was made because of the significant amount involved and the employer’s failure to rectify the matter.

The Fair Work Ombudsman previously initiated legal action against Mr Sitarenos’s private company, Melland Pty Ltd, but this was automatically stayed when the company went into liquidation.

Mr Sitarenos allegedly committed numerous breaches of workplace laws.

He faces maximum potential penalties of $6600 per breach. The case is listed for a hearing on December 12 in the Federal Magistrates Court in Adelaide.

Employers or employees seeking assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fairwork.gov.au. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au External link icon.

Media inquiries:

Ryan Pedler, Senior Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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Page last updated: 15 Nov 2011