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The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured $11,988 in penalties in court against a Melbourne-based juice and coffee bar and its director.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed a $9,990 penalty against Rika Foods North Melbourne Pty Ltd, which operated a juice and coffee bar located inside the Sonsa Markets in Collingwood, and a $1,998 penalty against the company’s sole director, Radomir Pantovic.

The penalties were imposed in response to Rika Foods failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring it to back-pay entitlements to an employee who worked at the juice and coffee bar on a casual basis for a short period in January 2021.

Rika Foods has recently back-paid the worker more than $1000.

The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated after receiving a request for assistance from the affected worker. The Compliance Notice was issued in April 2021 after a Fair Work inspector formed a belief that the worker was not paid any wages for 40 hours of work she performed during an eight-day employment period. The worker was entitled to have been paid the casual minimum wage under the Fast Food Industry Award 2010.

Judge Jonathan Forbes found Rika Food’s failure to comply with the Compliance Notice was deliberate and said that “the penalty should deliver sufficient sting” to deter others.

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