Sydney car wash faces court for allegedly underpaying foreign workers almost $100,000

30 August 2011

The Fair Work Ombudsman is prosecuting the operators of a car wash cafe in Sydney for allegedly underpaying dozens of foreign workers.

Facing court is Kingsford Carwash Pty Ltd, which operates the Crystal Car Wash and Cafe in Kingsford.

Also facing court is the car wash cafe’s former manager, Elliot Ban, of Sydney.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges the car wash underpaid 62 casual employees a total of $95,680 between December, 2009 and July, 2010.

Most were male employees in their 20s, many of them from Asia, who worked as car washers and detailers.

The workers were allegedly paid a flat hourly rate as low as $10.84 when they should have received more than $16.

The largest amount allegedly owing to a single worker is $7261.

Fair Work inspectors discovered the alleged underpayments when they investigated a complaint from one of the employees.

Court documents also allege Kingsford Carwash failed to keep proper employment records.

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

Mr Ban was allegedly involved in Kingsford Carwash committing numerous breaches of workplace laws.

He faces maximum potential penalties of $6600 per breach and Kingsford Carwash $33,000 per contravention.

A directions hearing is listed for September 19 in the Federal Magistrates Court in Sydney.

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, and information on the website is translated into 27 languages.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png.

Media inquiries:

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

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