A long history of employee complaints and the need to send a strong message to the hair and beauty industry that "it does not pay to underpay workers" has led to a hairdressing chain being fined $70,000 for short-changing an apprentice more than $8,000.
A hotel management company that took unlawful adverse action when it stopped giving shifts to a casual bartender who complained of being underpaid has been ordered to pay $11,000 compensation, including a sum for distress, hurt, and humiliation.
Supermarket giant Coles will conduct random wage audits of its trolley collection contractors, back pay 10 employees more than $220,000 and establish a $500,000 fund for any future underpayment claims, as part of an agreement with the Fair Work Ombudsman that acknowledges the company's "ethical and moral responsibility" to look after workers on its sites.
In what four judges agree is an "extraordinary case" involving a "spectacularly bad witness" and a "serial fraudster", a Swan Hill shop assistant will keep almost half a million dollars in back pay and interest after a full Federal Court confirmed that she had not agreed to work for nothing.
Giving teenage employees free and discounted pizzas and soft drink instead of wages – a practice belonging "in the dark ages rather than twenty first century Australia" – has cost a pizza franchise operator $335,000 in fines.
A finance broking house that issued a Brisbane-based employee five payslips in six years and employed him on a commission-based agreement that it believed did not entitle him to base salary, sick pay, annual leave and superannuation entitlements has been ordered to pay him almost $124,000 in penalties.
In another chapter of a long-running case involving a botched attempt to lodge AWAs, a former company director will have the penalty for her role in short-changing 33 call centre workers reduced after the Federal Court cut in half the period in which she was liable as an accessory to her company's breaches.
In a big win for supermarket giant Coles, the Federal Circuit Court has ruled that its online delivery drivers are covered by the major retail award, throwing out the TWU's long-running claim that they are employed in the transport industry.