Fair Work Ombudsman prosecutes a Melbourne newsagency


[link removed]

We had a run-in with the Fair Work Ombudsman too recently. I do not see them acting *Fair*.

This case is over an employee who was allegedly paid a flat hourly rate of $18 for all hours worked - but was entitled to up to $21 an hour on weekdays and Saturdays and up to $33 an hour on Sundays.

The newsagent refused to pay $4,697 in back wages suggests that they dispute this.

Now the newsagency is looking at five charges each potentially worth about $40,000 ($33,000 from the newsagency and $6,000 by the owner) and the $4,697 in wages.

I hate to think what the final bill could be. The lawyers demand their money up-front.

As a punt, for this case, the lawyers will want about $28,000 from each side. Assuming costs awarded, the loser will probably be up for about $45,000 of legal fees and interest as the winner rarely gets everything. This assumes that it ends here, and it does not appeal.

Even if the newsagency win, they could be up for much of their $28,000 legal fees as, based on what I have seen, the government will often make an offer halfway through the case to drop it in exchange for no costs if they think they are losing. This is usually accepted.

In courts, the lawyers are always the winners.