The operator of an Adelaide bubble tea store which was the scene of a high-profile assault earlier this year is facing legal action for underpaying more than 20 employees $186,000.
- The Fun Tea shop in Chinatown was the site of a young worker’s assault early this year
- The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched legal action against its operator
- It alleges Yuxuan Group underpaid more than 20 workers
The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has begun the action against Yuxuan Group, which operates “Fun Tea” outlets on Gouger Street, York Street and Rundle Mall.
Last month a customer of the Gouger Street store, 39-year-old Lei “Gavin” Guo, was convicted of assault after he slapped a waitress who had complained to her boss about alleged underpayment.
Video of the assault went viral online, attracting more than 55 million views on Chinese social media platform Weibo.
The Fair Work Ombudsman will allege some of the underpaid workers were visa holders, including international students.
Four were aged under 21.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said matters involving alleged underpayment of visa holders were serious, as those workers were vulnerable to exploitation.
“The Fair Work Ombudsman will hold business operators to account when we encounter allegations that involve vulnerable workers,” Ms Parker said.
The ombudsman will allege the 20 workers had been paid flat rates of $10 to $18 an hour, which is less than their entitlements under the Fast Food Industry Award.
The allegations also include that the workers were not provided meal breaks or minimum engagement requirements.
The ombudsman is also pursuing Yang Su, a former director of Yuxuan Group, alleging she was involved in the record-keeping and payslip breaches.
The legal action against Fun Tea follows an audit of cafes and fast food outlets across Adelaide’s Chinatown precinct in April, during which FWO inspectors found “high levels of non-compliance” with pay and penalty rates.
Ms Parker said employees with concerns about their pay should contact Fair Work for free advice.
“Employers also need to be aware that compliance in the fast food, restaurant and cafe sector continues to be a priority for the FWO.”
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