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Sydney Cleaning Company In Court Over Underpayments

Sydney cleaning company in court over underpayments

A Sydney cleaning company is facing court action after allegedly underpaying two casual workers.

Additionally, the company allegedly provided false and misleading documents to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Previously, the Federal Circuit Court penalised the company and its operator more than $11,000 for refusing to back-pay $2,943 to two Filipino workers.

Sydney cleaning company allegedly ripped off casual workers

Michael Girowal owns and operates Green Clean in Sydney.

He is facing the Federal Circuit Court in addition to his manager Kareena Colton.

The two are accused of underpaying two casual workers, in addition to failing to provide pay slips.

Further, Fair Work alleges Girowal provided false and misleading documents to cover-up the wage theft.

The alleged underpayments

Fair Work claims Green Clean failed to pay two student visa holders proper hourly wages and entitlements.

For example:

  • minimum wages,
  • casual loading,
  • broken shift allowances,
  • penalty rates and overtime,
  • and superannuation.

Wage thief Michael Girowal in a newspaper article.

False and misleading documents

Inspectors issued Green Clean a Notice to Produce wage and time records.

However, Fair Work alleges Girowal handed over emails purporting to notify the workers of their “Independent Contractor Agreements”.

Furthermore, the regulator alleges the emails were never sent to the workers.

Green Clean has form

This is the second time Green Clean has faced legal action by Fair Work.

In 2016, the Federal Circuit Court imposed penalties totalling $11,340 on Green Clean and Girowal for failing to comply with a Compliance Notice.

As a result of the latest alleged contraventions, the regulator is seeking new penalties against Green Clean, Girowal and Colton.

The company faces maximum penalties of $63,000 per contravention.

Additionally, Girowal and Colton each face maximum penalties of $12,600 per contravention.

Repeat offenders can expect legal action

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker says employers who repeatedly flout workplace laws can expect legal action.

“Where we believe an employer has provided false or misleading information or documents to an inspector, we will take appropriate action.

“A court can then order the employer to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.

“Businesses that the Fair Work Ombudsman has found repeatedly breaching workplace laws can expect court action.”

Green Clean has now back-paid the workers.


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