Australia court moved for ill-treatment of Indian chef

Sydney, July 1 (IANS) Australia’s workplace relations ombudsman has moved court against a restaurant in that country for discriminating against an Indian chef.

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has launched legal action against the restaurant in Perth in Western Australia state for denying the Indian pay for four months and then sacking via a text message for calling in sick, the WA Today online newspaper reported Monday.

Both the restaurant, located in the Perth suburb of Nedlands, and the chef have not been named.

According to the report, the chef, who was in Australia on a bridging visa – a temporary visa that is issued while the substantive or main visa is processed – was recruited by the restaurant in May 2012 through classified advertisements website Gumtree.

The chef, then aged 25, was paid A$200 for his first few days of work.

Thereafter, he was not paid anything even as he worked six evenings a week.

In September 2012, when he sent a text message stating that he could not attend work as he was unwell and that he would produce a medical certificate in this connection, he reportedly received a series of text messages terminating his employment.

The chef was owed A$15,000 in wages and entitlements for work he had rendered.

The FWO has alleged that the restaurant has violated workplace laws in its treatment towards the Indian chef including taking adverse action against him when he had applied for sick leave, which he was entitled to.

The operator of the restaurant faces A$6,600 per breach and the company that owns the restaurant A$33,000 per breach.

The FWO has also sought full back-payment for the chef and compensation and damages.

The case is listed for hearing in the Federal Circuit Court of Western Australia next week.

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