Her Fashion Box and its sole director Kath Purkis have been fined a total of $329,133 by the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney for underpaying workers.
The failed fashion start-up, who once scored a $200,000 deal on Shark Tank, was found guilty of underpaying three workers more than $40,000 between 2013 and 2015.
The court found the three workers were underpaid for entitlements including minimum hourly rates, overtime, public holiday pay and annual leave between 2013 and 2015. It also found one worker was unlawfully classified as an “unpaid intern” when she was in fact a part-time employee.
The court fined the company, Her Fashion Box Pty Ltd, a total of $274,278.
The court also fined Ms Purkis, once a finalist in the 2015 Telstra Business Women Awards, a further $54,855.
The judge said the underpayments were significant and deliberate and that Ms Purkis was aware she was not paying her workers the amounts they were entitled to. He said a substantial penalty was required as a deterrent for others.
Image: Kath Purkis, former Director of failed fashion start-up ‘Her Fashion Box’.