The company behind the Adithya Indian restaurants in Wollongong and Nowra as well as its director and business partner have been ordered by the Federal Court to have their assets frozen to a value of $450,000 to prevent the frustration of the Courts processes centred on an underpayment claim for lost wages by a chef of $230,000 plus penalties, interest and costs.
Mr Arthur Rorris, Secretary of the South Coast Labour Council said: “The size of the underpayment alone is likely to reach half a million dollars with another employee also stepping forward to claim a similar amount. That puts Adithya Restaurants and its director and business partners liable to potentially pay a million dollars when fines, interest and costs are also tallied up.
“The South Coast Labour Council remains disappointed at the level of wage theft occurring in the community so we decided to do something about it. Our work and that of our legal team is designed to take wage theft off the menu. Thankfully this powerful Federal Court Order takes us one step closer to achieving that. This problem, unfortunately will continue with the current laws and the Government that backs them. Wage theft has no place in a Union Town.”
Mr. Kristian Bolwell, Principal of WorkLawyers who is instructed by the two chef’s who claim around $500,000 in lost wages from Adithya said: “This Freezing Order covers the land owned by the Director and Business Partner of the company as well as the assets of the restaurants. We are fully committed to achieving real compensation for our clients as they have worked as little more than slaves with the none to subtle threat of deportation used to obtain compliance for around 2 years. The matter returns to the Federal Court on 1 May 2019.”
“Adithya makes great curries and we encourage the community to keep buying food from them -they just have to learn a very hard lesson to pay their staff correctly at the same time. Let this be a warning to dodgy employers: while the best thing for employees to do is join a union and to change these laws we won’t hesitate to connect underpaid employees with committed lawyers to take wage theft off the menu in the meantime.” Arthur Rorris, Secretary of the South Coast Labour Council said.
Extracts of Freezing Order issued by the Federal Court available.