Employer To Face Court For Allegedly Threatening Worker Who Queried Pay

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21st January 2010, 10:30am - Views: 632

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Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 

Media Release

    21 Jan 2010

Employer to face court for allegedly threatening

worker who queried pay

The Fair Work Ombudsman is prosecuting a Brisbane physiotherapy clinic for

allegedly threatening to dismiss an employee who queried her pay.

Facing court is Maleha Newaz Pty Ltd, which trades as Physio Plus Physiotherapy

and Sports Clinic in Carindale. The company’s sole director is Maleha Newaz. 

The Agency is also prosecuting Ms Newaz’ husband Saba Ahammad, who is

Secretary of Maleha Newaz Pty Ltd and is involved in running the clinic. 

Documents lodged in the Federal Magistrates Court in Brisbane allege that in late

2008, a casual receptionist at the clinic obtained information from authorities

which suggested she was being paid below what she was entitled to. 

The receptionist forwarded this information to her employer and asked that her

wages be re-evaluated.

It is alleged that on November 6, 2008 Mr Ahammad sent the receptionist an

email stating that her wages would not be increased and threatening to dismiss

her if she pursued the matter with authorities to secure back-pay.

The receptionist resigned in early 2009 and then lodged an underpayment

complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman. Inspectors investigated and

negotiated for Maleha Newaz Pty Ltd to voluntarily back-pay her $7090.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the Agency has

launched legal action because the circumstances of the alleged threat to dismiss

the receptionist constitute a serious breach of workplace law.

Maleha Newaz Pty Ltd and Mr Ahammad were allegedly each involved in

committing one breach. The maximum penalty per breach is $33,000 for the

company and $6600 for Mr Ahammad.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a Court Order for compensation of

$5482 for the receptionist for lost wages following her resignation. The case is

listed for a directions hearing on February 10.

The Fair Work Ombudsman promotes harmonious, productive and co-operative

workplaces. It also monitors compliance and investigates breaches of national

workplace laws.

Employers or employees seeking assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline

on 13 13 94 or visit www.fwo.gov.au For translations call 13 14 50.

Media: Craig Bildstien, 0419 818 484. craig.bildstien@fwo.gov.au

Ryan Pedler, (03) 9954 2561, 0434 365 924. ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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