A Melbourne Restaurateur Is Facing Court For Allegedly Paying Teenage Workers In Pizza

Teens with pizza: Shutterstock

Australia’s Fair Work Ombudsman is suing the owner-operator of two Melbourne pizza franchises for allegedly underpaying 111 young employees by a total of $258,019.

Ruby Chand, proprietor of the La Porchetta franchise restaurants, told Fairfax Media’s Clay Lucas that he had assumed that it was legal to top up monetary payments with soft drink and pizza.

“We thought that we could give them free food and drink to compensate everything. Instead of someone getting paid $10.80, we were paying $10.50,” he told Fairfax.

Fair Work inspectors said employees – of whom most were in their teens – were underpaid between $3 and $25,358 each. Most were employed as cooks, kitchen attendants and food and beverage service employees.

The Fair Work investigation was prompted by a single complaint from a parent of one employee.

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