Furniture delivery business operator in court
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operator of a furniture delivery business based in Maitland, NSW.
Facing court is Mr Mariano Ezequiel Lobos, who operated RBE Transport as a sole trader, and Ms Jamie Lobos who was involved in managing the business.
The regulator began an investigation after receiving a request for assistance from a worker who had been employed by Mr Lobos as a full-time furniture delivery assistant from December 2020 to July 2021.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Mr and Ms Lobos in September 2021 after forming a belief that the worker had not been paid all entitlements owed under the Road Transport and Distribution Award 2020 and the Fair Work Act.
The inspector formed a belief that the worker was not paid for accrued but untaken annual leave after their employment ended.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Mr Lobos, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required him to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements. It is alleged Ms Lobos was involved in the contravention.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take business operators to court when they fail to act on Compliance Notices.
“Where employers do not comply, we are prepared to take appropriate legal action to ensure employees receive their lawful entitlements. A court can order a business to pay penalties on top of having to back-pay workers,” Ms Parker said.
“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free advice and assistance.”
The FWO is seeking a penalty against Mr and Ms Lobos. They each face a penalty of up to $6,660 for allegedly failing to comply with the Compliance Notice.
The regulator is also seeking an order for Mr Lobos to comply with the Compliance Notice, which includes calculating and rectifying any underpayments in full, plus interest.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Sydney on 10 June 2022.
Employers and employees can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance about their rights and obligations in the workplace. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50. Small businesses can find targeted resources at the Small Business Showcase.