Truckie complains about pay; gets $28k reimbursement

Truck driver back-paid $28,000 after complaining of being ripped off by his employer

May 12, 2010

A truck driver has been back-paid $28,000 after complaining he was being ripped off by his employer.

The Goldfields truck driver from Bendigo in Victoria contacted the Fair Work Ombudsman after being underpaid overtime rates over a six-year period.

Following the complaint, the workplace watchdog contacted the transport operator to tell it to hand over the money the company owed to its driver.

The Ombudsman chose not to name the operator because it voluntarily paid the driver after being informed.

According to the Ombudsman, a recent routine audit of companies revealed workers in the transport, retail and hospitality industries were significantly underpaid.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says most of the underpayments are due to an employer’s lack of understanding of their legal obligations.

He says in most cases the Fair Work Ombudsman does not prosecute employers for inadvertent breaches of workplace laws.

"However, employers need to be aware that they can face fines of up $33,000 per breach if we do take matters to court," Campbell says.

"Most of the $100 million we have recovered for workers throughout Australia over the past three years has been recouped without resorting to litigation."

Campbell says companies need to be aware of workplace laws and keep accurate records such on work time, wages and annual leave.

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