Central Victorian security company facing court for allegedly underpaying staff

20 May 2013

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a Central Victorian security company, alleging it underpaid four former employees almost $90,000.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has lodged the action in the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne against Ross Geri Pty Ltd, which trades as North State Security (NSS,) based at Strathfieldsaye, near Bendigo, and the company’s Director and Secretary, Ross Irwin Geri along with Sherie Geri, a co-manager of the company.

It is alleged that the company underpaid four former casual employees during the whole period of their employment, which varied in length over period between 2006 and 2011 by paying a flat rate of pay that id not meet minimum requirements for overtime rates, shift loadings, weekend and public holiday penalty rates, minimum shift requirements and laundry allowance. It is also alleged the company failed to pay the employees’ accrued annual leave entitlements on termination.

As a consequence, the Fair Work Ombudsman alleges the four former employees were underpaid a total of $89,117.

A Fair Work Inspector investigated the alleged contraventions as a result of complaints lodged by the former employees.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman, Michael Campbell, said the significant amount of money involved in this case and the focus the Fair Work Ombudsman has had on the security industry with national education and compliance campaigns conducted in 2009 and 2011 were key factors in the decision to take legal action.

Mr and Ms Geri each faces penalties of up to $6,600 per contravention and the company faces penalties of up to $33,000 per contravention.

A directions hearing is currently listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne on 22 May 2013.

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.

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