Melbourne company faces legal action over failure to pay compensation to overseas worker

4 July 2016

A Melbourne-based company is facing Court for allegedly ignoring a Fair Work Commission order to compensate an overseas worker it had unfairly dismissed.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court against Monochromatic Engineering Pty Ltd, which operates a business manufacturing laser alignment instruments.

Also facing Court is company director and part-owner Zoran Crvenkovic, of Melbourne.

The Fair Work Commission last year ordered Monochromatic Engineering to pay $27,124 compensation, plus superannuation, to an overseas worker it found had been unfairly dismissed.

The worker, a service technician, is an Iranian who was in Australia on a 485 temporary graduate visa and later a 457 skilled worker visa when he was employed by Monochromatic Engineering between May, 2013 and January, 2015.

The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated when the worker lodged a request for assistance after the compensation was not paid.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has made several requests for Monochromatic Engineering and Mr Crvenkovic to comply with the Commission’s Orders, but the compensation remains unpaid.

Monochromatic Engineering and Mr Crvenkovic allegedly also contravened workplace laws by failing to comply with a Notice to Produce employment documents issued by a Fair Work inspector.

“Our inspectors made extensive efforts to engage with this business to try to resolve the matter, but were not able to secure co-operation,” says Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says her Agency has an important role to play in enforcing orders issued by the Fair Work Commission.

“Compliance is fundamental for the integrity of the workplace relations system and employers should be aware that we are prepared to take action where appropriate,” Ms James said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is seeking penalties against Monochromatic Engineering and Mr Crvenkovic in relation to two alleged contraventions of workplace laws.

The company faces maximum penalties of up to $54,000 per contravention and Mr Crvenkovic faces maximum penalties of up to $10,800 per contravention.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking Court Orders for Monochromatic Engineering and Mr Crvenkovic to pay the compensation owed to the worker and to pay the Fair Work Ombudsman’s legal costs.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne for August 19.

Employers and employees seeking assistance can 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.

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 www.facebook.com/fairwork.gov.au External link icon.

Sign up to receive the Fair Work Ombudsman’s media releases direct to your email inbox at www.fairwork.gov.au/mediareleases.

Media inquiries:

Ryan Pedler, Assistant Media Director
Mobile: 0411 430 902
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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