2018 media releases

More than $200k in penalties in FWO’s first racial discrimination case
28 May 2018
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s first racial discrimination litigation has resulted in penalties of $211,104 against the former operators of a Tasmanian hotel after they deliberately exploited two Malaysian employees of Chinese descent.
200 regional NSW businesses being audited by the Fair Work Ombudsman in New England and North West
24 May 2018
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced audits of more than 200 businesses across the New England and North West regions of NSW, as part of its latest campaign checking businesses’ compliance with workplace laws.
$118,000 in penalties after NSW roadhouse operator “well and truly caught out by FWO”
23 May 2018
The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured $118,440 in penalties in Court after a NSW roadhouse manager tried to deprive an Indian employee of her Government-funded parental leave pay by falsely claiming he provided the pay to the employee’s husband.
Record penalty against Townsville café operator over failure to pay compensation
16 May 2018
A record penalty has been imposed against the former operator of a café at Townsville in regional Queensland, for ignoring a Fair Work Commission order to compensate an employee who was unfairly dismissed.
Jail term imposed in Fair Work Ombudsman’s first contempt of court case
14 May 2018
A Northern Queensland business operator has been jailed – and then released pending the outcome of his appeal – as a result of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s first contempt-of-court action.
$43,000 penalty for labour hire manager after vulnerable workers exploited at abattoir
11 May 2018
The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured $43,000 in penalties against the former general manager of a labour hire company over the deliberate exploitation of migrant workers at an abattoir at Scone, in regional NSW.
$300k in penalties against burger bar operator evidence of cultural issues in hospitality industry
9 May 2018
Penalties of more than $300,000 against a former Melbourne burger bar operator for exploiting young and overseas workers are the latest wake-up call to the hospitality industry to improve widespread non-compliance, according to Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James.
Sushi operator faces Court for allegedly underpaying overseas workers in Newcastle
3 May 2018
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the former operator of three sushi outlets in Newcastle for her alleged involvement in underpaying four overseas workers more than $33,000.
Outback homestead operator penalised in Court after 17 workers underpaid $23,000
2 May 2018
The operators of a remote Northern Territory homestead have been penalised a total of $56,766, after ignoring pay advice and underpaying more than a dozen backpackers from overseas.
$160,000 in penalties after Sydney retailer underpays migrant employee $60,000
27 Apr 2018
The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured more than $160,000 in penalties after a Sydney retailer blatantly underpaid a Chinese migrant, leaving her struggling to pay for food, despite having previously committed to fixing its compliance problems.
Half a million calls from small business reveals strong demand for online support
26 Apr 2018
The Fair Work Ombudsman has today launched its Small Business Showcase, a virtual hub providing a wealth of resources for small business owners seeking information about their workplace obligations.
Queensland electrical contractor faces legal action over alleged failure to pay compensation
24 Apr 2018
A Queensland electrical contracting company is facing court for allegedly ignoring a Fair Work Commission order to compensate an employee who was unfairly dismissed.
Legal action alleges underpayment of 457 visa workers
18 Apr 2018
A regional Queensland company is facing Court for allegedly underpaying two Filipino 457 visa holders a total of almost $10,000 when it made them redundant.
Pharmacy operators penalised for underpaying migrant “93 weeks’ wages”
17 Apr 2018
The operators of a number of ‘Save and Deliver’ pharmacies in Sydney have been penalised a total of $45,000, after underpaying a migrant employee the equivalent of 93 weeks’ wages over a period of almost four years.
$230k in penalties over exploitation of migrant trolley collectors at Bendigo
16 Apr 2018
The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured $230,638 in penalties against a trolley collection subcontractor for exploiting two migrant workers at Bendigo, in regional Victoria, and using false records to try to cover it up.
Swimland signs up to scrutiny after more than 1300 staff underpaid $1.4 million
16 Apr 2018
A swim school franchise network that underpaid its staff across a six-year period is required to implement extensive measures to ensure compliance with workplace laws, after signing up to an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Hays Recruitment demonstrates commitment to workplace compliance through positive partnership with the FWO
13 Apr 2018
A compliance partnership between Hays Specialist Recruitment (Australia) Pty Ltd and the Fair Work Ombudsman has shown the positive impact of close engagement between employers and the regulator in promoting harmonious and compliant workplaces.
$300,000 penalties and back-pay for “flagrant” underpayments of first aid workers
12 Apr 2018
The operators of a Melbourne health services company that a Judge said showed a “flagrant disregard” for its first aid responder staff has been penalised $300,000 in the Federal Circuit Court, following legal action brought by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Hotspots to be audited as spotlight put on the workplace basics of 1000 businesses
11 Apr 2018
The Fair Work Ombudsman has begun auditing 1000 businesses across Australia, as part of a new campaign to ensure employers have the basics right in their workplaces.
WA workers back-paid almost $390,000 and three businesses penalised in court following FWO campaigns
10 Apr 2018
Two Fair Work Ombudsman campaigns conducted in Western Australia have resulted in $388,261 being back-paid to local workers, including more than $300,000 recovered following court actions commenced by the regulator.
More than $192,000 in penalties for former 7-Eleven operators who underpaid vulnerable workers
10 Apr 2018
The Federal Circuit Court has imposed penalties totalling $192,961 against the operators of two Brisbane CBD 7-Eleven stores for short-changing workers by more than $31,000.
Sydney café operator penalised for short-changing visa holder using cashback scheme
9 Apr 2018
A Sydney café operator has been penalised more than $97,000 in the Federal Circuit Court after requiring an overseas worker to pay back thousands of dollars of her wages as part of a cashback scheme, following legal action by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Sydney workers back-paid more than $62,000 after seeking Fair Work Ombudsman help
6 Apr 2018
The Fair Work Ombudsman has assisted five workers employed by businesses in Sydney suburbs to recover $62,979 in unpaid wages and entitlements.
Campaigns in regional Victoria recover more than $620,000 for hundreds of workers
5 Apr 2018
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s proactive compliance and education campaigns in Victoria’s Dandenong and Warrnambool – Otway Ranges regions have seen 350 workers back-paid a total of $624,332 in owed wages and entitlements.
Former economics professor faces court for alleged underpayment of overseas workers
4 Apr 2018
A former economics professor is facing court after he allegedly paid overseas workers at his Asian grocery store in the Melbourne CBD as little as $10 per hour, despite having been put on notice of workplace laws.

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