Pub baron Justin Hemmes has been accused of underpaying thousands of employees over several years, with some former employees making allegations of working one-hundred-hour weeks and few rest breaks.
In December 2019, Merivale was sued by Canberra firm Adero Law, overseen by principal Rory Markham, seeking unpaid wages on behalf of employees. The claim reached $129 million for around 14,000 claimants.
It is claimed that the WorkChoice’s agreement, which stated Merivale wasn’t required to pay staff overtime or full penalty rates – was never approved by regulators.
Employees have detailed their working conditions between 2013 to 2019. Claiming the norm for Merivale staff to working 100-hour weeks under the company’s now defunct WorkChoices agreement.
It is this agreement which sparked the original class action.
This week Adero revealed that it was confident a settlement would be reached soon and that the case would probably not proceed in court.