The Fair Work Ombudsman has announced legal action against the operators of two more 7-Eleven stores for allegedly underpaying their staff tens of thousands of dollars.
The litigations take to six the number of 7-Eleven operators to face Court since 2009.
The latest matters to go before the Federal Circuit Court allege that two 7-Eleven outlets in the Brisbane CBD short-changed 21 employees more than $31,000.
Facing Court is Jason Yuan, who operates stores at 231 George Street and 174 Adelaide Street and two companies he part-owns, Vipper Pty Ltd and Viplus Pty Ltd.
In its Statement of Claim, the Fair Work Ombudsman alleges 21 employees across the two stores were underpaid a total of $31,507 between September, 2013 and September, 2014.
The employees, including a number of international students, were allegedly paid flat rates as low as $17.74 an hour, resulting in significant underpayment of their penalty rates for shift, Saturday, public holiday, overtime and late-night work.
Individual employees are allegedly owed amounts from $98 to $5080.
The two stores were among those targeted by the Fair Work Ombudsman for surprise night-time visits as part of a tri-State operation in September, 2014.
The Fair Work Ombudsman had previously advised Mr Yuan in February, 2013 about his obligations to pay lawful minimum penalty rates.
He faces maximum penalties of up to $10,800 per breach.
Vipper Pty Ltd and Viplus Pty Ltd each face penalties of up to $54,000 per contravention.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane on February 22.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says 7-Eleven is the subject of a national Inquiry by the Fair Work Ombudsman into allegations of systemic underpayments and false record-keeping practices.
Ms James says a final report is expected in the first quarter of this year.
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Most businesses – including small businesses – are now covered by the national Fair Work system created by the Fair Work Act 2009.
Fair work Inspectors appointed by the Fair Work Ombudsman have the power to enter a workplace at any time during working hours to inspect records and ensure compliance: Read more about fines and penalties: Fair Work Act 2009
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