record fine for 7-Eleven pay scam

Record fine for 7-Eleven pay scam

A 7-Eleven operator in Sydney has been penalised a record $214,200 for deliberately short-changing two migrant employees and falsifying records.

Harmandeep Singh Sarkaria – who owns and operates the 7-Eleven at Bankstown – has been penalised $35,700 and his company Amritsaria Four Pty Ltd a further $178,500.

They are the largest penalties secured against a 7-Eleven franchisee by the Fair Work Ombudsman, which has undertaken a range of compliance actions aimed at addressing systemic non-compliance by 7-Eleven nationally.

Background

Legal proceedings were brought against Sarkaria for the underpayment of two cashier operators at his Blacktown outlet for a total of $49,426.

Upon investigation, the Fair Work Ombudsman found that Sarkaria made false entries into the 7-Eleven head office payroll system about the number of hours the employees had worked. He also routinely made entries that the employees had worked only 10 hours a week, despite them working significantly more hours. The entries gave the appearance that the employees were paid about $25 an hour, when they were actually paid rates equivalent to $10 an hour.

He also provided Fair Work inspectors investigating the underpayments with false time-and-wages sheets.

In his reasons for the decision, Judge Smith said that despite being “perfectly aware” of legal obligations relating to pay and record-keeping, Sarkaria had used records to “hide the fact that he was not paying two employees properly”.

“The contraventions were not accidental, but, rather part of a deliberate scheme aimed at maximising financial benefit to the respondents,” Judge Smith said.

 

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