SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — The former manager of a carwash here who underpaid young foreign workers has been fined $9,000 AUS, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The Dec. 18 story stated that the Federal Magistrate Court ruled Elliot Ban acted with “gross irresponsibility” by exploiting vulnerable employees. The magistrate found that Ban underpaid 62 casual workers a total of $99,646 AUS between December 2009 and July 2010.
The workers were mainly young Asians on student or working holiday visas who spoke little English. Fair Work inspectors discovered the underpayments when they investigated an employee complaint, the story noted.
"This scale of exploitation involved a particularly vulnerable group of foreign students who were probably struggling to support themselves under visa conditions limiting their permitted hours of work," the magistrate said in the story.
On the eve of the prosecution, Ban paid $27,715 AUS in back pay to six workers he was able to locate.
Ban leased the carwash from the Crystal Car Wash Café Pty Ltd and its director and part-owner Anthony Sahade. The Fair Work Ombudsman announced in November it would prosecute that company and Sahade as well for underpayment of 359 workers.
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