A St Kilda retail store has been fined almost $20,000 for underpaying 43 workers more than $40,000.
Myst Oz Pty Ltd, which trades as The Grotto on Acland Street, has been fined $16,500 and the company’s sole director Rebecca Pearse a further $3300.
Magistrate Franz Holzer imposed the fines after the company admitted underpaying 43 workers a total of $40,916 between 2006 and 2008.
The workers were variously employed on a full-time or casual basis as shop assistants, storage service workers and retail managers.
The workers were underpaid their minimum hourly rate, annual leave entitlements and penalty rates for weekend, public holiday and overtime work.
The Fair Work Ombudsman discovered the issue in 2008 when it audited the company after receiving complaints from workers and Myst Oz back-paid the employees all money owed.
Fair Work Ombudsman executive director Michael Campbell says the case sends a message that failing to pay staff their full entitlements is a serious matter.
“The failure to promptly rectify the underpayments when we brought them to the employer’s attention contributed to our decision to launch a prosecution,” he said.