A former Melbourne paint retailer has been fined $72,600 for underpaying five employees. Pride Paints, which formerly traded as The Paint Factory at Bayswater North and other locations around the metropolitan area, has been fined $66,000 and the company’s sole director Eberhard Peppler has been fined $6600.
Magistrate Peter Lauritsen imposed the fines after Peppler admitted he was involved in Pride Paints committing 10 contraventions of workplace laws by underpaying five shop assistants at The Paint Factory outlet in Bayswater North.
The employees were underpaid a total of $25,524 between 2006 and 2009, with one of them underpaid more than $11,000.
Magistrate Lauritsen criticised Pride Paints for continuing its non-compliance after an employee alerted the company in October 2008 that it was underpaying.
“After October 2008, it is fair to infer that Pride Paints deliberately disregarded its obligations to some of its employees,” Magistrate Lauritsen said.
In February this year, the court ordered Pride Paints to rectify the $25,524 underpayment but Magistrate Lauritsen said the order hadn’t been complied with.
Fair Work Ombudsman executive director Michael Campbell said the case sends a message that underpaying workers is a serious offence that won’t be tolerated.
“The conduct in this case was made all the more serious by the company’s refusal to rectify the non-compliance issues it was alerted to,” he said.