Cairns restaurant faces court for allegedly underpaying overseas worker $33,000

17 February 2016

The operators of a restaurant in Cairns are facing Court for allegedly short-changing an overseas worker more than $33,000 over a period of almost three years.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal proceedings against Poisson Pty Ltd and Cairns businesswoman Miyuki Yogo.

They operate the Mature Yogo restaurant at ‘The Pier’ precinct, on Pierpoint Road.

The allegedly underpaid a 34-year-old female employee from Japan who was employed as a waitress and later as a manager.

The employee was sponsored by Poisson on a 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Visa for part of her employment.

She was allegedly underpaid her minimum hourly rate, casual loadings, shift allowances, annual leave entitlements and penalty rates for weekend, night and public holiday work between May, 2012 and April, 2015.

This allegedly resulted in a total underpayment of $33,693.

The employer’s obligations relating to issuing of pay-slips and record-keeping were also allegedly breached.

Fair Work inspectors investigated after the employee lodged a request for assistance.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says that while all outstanding entitlements have now been repaid, legal action is proceeding on the basis that the underpayment was significant and involved a vulnerable overseas worker.

Ms Yogo faces maximum penalties of up to $10,200 per contravention and Poisson Pty Ltd faces penalties of up to $51,000 per contravention.

Employers and employees seeking assistance can visit or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

Small businesses can opt to be put through to a priority service.

An interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50.

Information on the website is translated into 27 different languages.

Follow Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James on Twitter @NatJamesFWO external-icon.png, the Fair Work Ombudsman @fairwork_gov_au External link icon or find us on Facebook External link icon.

Sign up to receive the Fair Work Ombudsman’s media releases direct to your email inbox at

Media inquiries:

Annie Lawson, Media Adviser
Mobile: 0466 522 004

Lara O'Toole, Media Adviser
Mobile: 0439 835 855


Want to save this information for later?

If you might need to read this information again, save it for later so you can access it quickly and easily.

Page reference No: 5944