7-Eleven scandal continues to unfold in Australia
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operator of two more 7-Eleven stores for allegedly underpaying staff tens of thousands of dollars. A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane on February 22.
The litigations take the number of 7-Eleven operators to face Court since 2009 to six. The latest matters to go before the Federal Circuit Court allege that two 7-Eleven outlets in the Brisbane CBD short-changed 21 employees by more than A$30,000.
Facing court is Jason Yuan, who operates two stores. His employees, including a number of international students, were allegedly paid flat rates, resulting in significant underpayment of their penalty rates for shift, Saturday, public holiday, overtime and late night work. The two stores were among those targeted by the Fair Work Ombudsman for surprise night time visits as part of a tri-State operation in September, 2014.
The Fair Work Ombudsman had previously advised Yuan in 2013 about his obligations to pay lawful minimum rates. Yuan faces maximum penalties of up to $10,200 per breach. His companies Vipper Pty Ltd and Viplus Pty Ltd each face penalties of up to $51,000 per contravention.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says 7-Eleven is the subject of a national Inquiry by the Fair Work Ombudsman into allegations of systemic underpayments and false record keeping practices. James said a final report is expected in the first quarter of this year.
Earlier in December, 7-Eleven announced more than 90% of stores had signed a new enterprise agreement, which includes a revised profit-sharing model between franchisees and head office, as well as increased compliance, governance and oversight initiatives.