The owner of a Adelaide The chain of bubble tea bars will be brought to justice over allegations the company underpaid its employees, many of whom were international students.
Legal documents filed Wednesday by the Fair Labor Ombudsman with the federal court allege that the Yuxuan Group, which owns three Fun Tea outlets, underpaid workers a total of $ 186,895. Company director Yang Su makes equalely in the face of alleged violations of record keeping and payslips.
The channel's underpayment allegations first became public in February when video of a man slapping a female employee when an argument over alleged unpaid wages has become viral. The man, who was later convicted of assault, was not his boss or an employee of the tea bar.
According to the documents judicial proceedings, the mediator alleges 20 workers, including the woman in the video, were paid as little as $ 10 an hour.
The ombudsman alleges that the woman in the video, who was 20 at the time, was underpaid $ 672 over two weeks in January.
The Working Women 's Center, which represents the young woman involved in the assault, has declined to comment.
Ombudsman claims company also underpaid worker penalty rates on evenings, weekends and holidays; failed to pay superannuation and over time; failed to allow multiple employees to take lunch breaks; and failed to keep proper records.
Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the matter was " serious "especially since people with visas were vulnerable to exploitation in the workplace .
"All workers have the same rights in Australia, regardless of their nationalityor their visa status, "Parker said.
An instruction hearing will be held in federal court in November.
Jacky Chen, an organizer of the SA Labor Info Hub, praised the lawsuit, saying it will help encourage others to move forward.
"Right now I have at least 10 people waiting for help and we are trying to help them take action, " he said. "In this case, there was video and a lot of pressure on this store. Now what about the others?
Au During separate court proceedings in June, Lei "Gavin " Guo, 39, pleaded guilty to slapping the young woman.
Guo was sentenced in August but released on two-and-a-half-year good behavior bail by Magistrate John Fahey, who said he was a "good man" whose reputation in the community has consideredsuffered greatly since the incident.
"I am convinced that you are a man of excellent character and that you are not in danger of reoffending", Fahey said.
"I believe you are a good man, but sometimes good people do bad things.