Automotive repair business operator in court

19 May 2023

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operator of an automotive repair and maintenance business in inner city Adelaide.

Facing court is Michele Di Troia, who operates ‘Skipper Automotive’, in Kent Town, as a sole trader.

The regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from a young worker Mr Di Troia employed between March and May 2021. The worker was aged 22 at the time.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Mr Di Troia in April 2022 after forming a belief that the worker was not paid for 75 hours he worked during a two-week trial period, when he was entitled to be paid as a casual employee under the Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award 2020.

The Fair Work Inspector also formed a belief that the worker, who became a full-time mechanic apprentice after the trial period, was not paid any wages for his final two weeks of work, and was underpaid annual leave entitlements under the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.

The FWO alleges Mr Di Troia, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required him to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take business operators to court where lawful requests are not complied with.

“Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order business operators to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance,” Ms Parker said.

The FWO is seeking a penalty against Mr Di Troia for the alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notice. He faces a penalty of up to $6,660.

The regulator is also seeking a court order for Mr Di Troia to take the steps set out in the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying the alleged underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.

The first directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Adelaide on 18 July 2023.

Employers and employees can visit or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

Small businesses can find targeted resources at the Small Business Showcase and information is available for employees and employers at our apprentices and trainees and young workers and students webpages.

The website also includes information about laws relating to unpaid work.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png or find us on Facebook external-icon.png.

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

Media inquiries:

Claire, 0418 825 074,