Phone retailer charged for underpaying workers $80,000

According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, a Sydney businessman is facing court for allegedly underpaying seven of his former staff more than $80,000.

The FWO has launched a prosecution in the NSW Chief Industrial Magistrates Court against Frank Huang, who was the owner and operator of telecommunications companies China Huge International Pty Ltd, which traded as Optus World in Warringah Mall and Chi Telecom Pty Ltd, which traded as Chi Telecom.

After receiving numerous complaints from workers in 2007 the FWO started investigating Huang’s companies and according to the court documents he is alleged to have underpaid four workers at Chi Telecom amounts of $28,200, $21,300, $21,000 and $6,100. In addition to this three staff members employed by China Huge International were underpaid by more than $16,000.

The alleged shortfalls are as a result of underpayment of wages, annual leave entitlements, penalty rates and superannuation.

The FWO also highlighted that Huang also failed to issue pay slips to some employees and did not provide inspectors with records when asked.

Both of Huang’s companies were placed into administration in February 2008.

Michael Campbell, Fair Work Ombudsman executive director, commented that the agency decided to prosecute due to the significant amounts involved and the fact that Huang failed to fully rectify the situation.

“We will not hesitate to use our power to pursue individuals who we believe have violated workers’ rights,” he said.

According to the FWO, Huang faces a maximum penalty of $6,600 for each breach of workplace law.

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