Bundaberg security officer allegedly underpaid more than $50,000

22 July 2013

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched legal action against the owner-operator of a security business in regional Queensland, alleging one of its security officers was underpaid more than $50,000.

Facing Court is Rodney Lynn Harris, the owner-manager of Bundaberg-based security services business, RPO Security.

Also facing Court is Mr Harris’s private company, Bundaberg Security Pty Ltd, through which he operates the business.

It is alleged Mr Harris, through Bundaberg Security, underpaid a casual employee at RPO Security a total of $51,733 between 2007 and 2010.

The employee was a security officer who performed duties including security patrols, escorting people to cars and taking cash to a bank safe. He often worked three days per week and regularly worked night shifts from 6pm to 6am.

It is alleged the underpayment is largely the result of the employee, aged in his 30s, being paid a flat rate of $900 per fortnight.

This allegedly resulted in underpayment of the employee’s minimum hourly rate, casual loadings, night shift allowance and penalty rates for Sunday, public holiday and overtime work.

Fair Work Inspectors discovered the alleged underpayments when they investigated a complaint lodged by the employee.

Laws relating to issuing pay slips were allegedly also breached.

Fair Work Ombudsman, Natalie James, said the significant amount of money involved and the failure to rectify the alleged underpayment were significant factors in the decision to commence legal action.

Mr Harris was allegedly involved in Bundaberg Security Pty Ltd committing multiple breaches of workplace laws. Mr Harris faces penalties of up to $6,600 per breach and his company faces penalties of up to $33,000 per breach.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a Court Order for back-payment. A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane on July 22.

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

Media inquiries:

08 8225 8263

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