The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operators of a vaping products business in Sydney for allegedly requiring a Chinese worker to enter into an unlawful cashback arrangement.
Facing court are The Easy Vaping Company Pty Ltd, which trades as ‘Easy Vape Distribution’ and ‘Easy Vape Australia’, the company’s sole director Kate Dillon Chan and her husband Edward Chan, the company’s operations and finance manager.
The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated after receiving a request for assistance from a Chinese worker who was sponsored by The Easy Vaping Company, on a 457 skilled work visa, to work as a marketing specialist between 2017 and 2020.
Fair Work inspectors allegedly discovered the worker had been unlawfully required to pay back $13,000 of his wages and entitlements between July 2017 and March 2018.
Ms Chan allegedly communicated the cashback requirement to the employee in private in the ‘pick and pack room’ of The Easy Vaping Company’s business premises in Arncliffe.
It is alleged that several times after the worker received wages into his account, he was required to withdraw amounts ranging from $1000 to $2000 from an ATM and pay the cash to Mr Chan.
It is alleged that The Easy Vaping Company pressured the worker to comply with the cashback requirement by telling him the company would sponsor his 457 visa but was unable to afford to pay him the $65,000 minimum annual wage that applied to his position under Australian law.
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