The Fair Work Ombudsman has announced in athat a fashion start up has received a number of penalties for underpaying three workers, in the recent case of Fair Work Ombudsman v Her Fashion Box Pty Ltd & Anor  FCCA 425 (28 February 2019) in the Federal Circuit Court ("the Court"). The company, Her Fashion Box Pty Ltd (the “Company”) and the sole director, Kathleen Purkis , have received a combined total of $329,133 in penalties.
Thereports that the business sold on-line subscribers boxes containing fashion accessories and beauty products. The Company was founded in 2013 and has since shut down.
The Court found three employees were underpaid a total of $40,543 for their entitlements including minimum hourly rates, overtime, public holiday pay and annual leave between 2013 and 2015.
One of the employees, who was a graphic designer, worked two days per week for almost six months under a purported “unpaid internship”, before receiving a one-off payment of just $1,000. She was underpaid a total of $6,913.
In addition to that employee, the company also underpaid another graphic designer a total of $15,511 over a period of two years of full-time work as a result of underpayment of the minimum award entitlements.
A third employee, engaged on a full-time basis as a brand partnerships manager, was underpaid a total of $18,119 over a 12-month period. The three workers have now received their back pay in full.
In handing down his judgment, Judge Manousaridis noted at [para 87]:
He also described the contraventions of the relevant legislation at [para 132] as:
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said in athat inspectors investigated the company after receiving complaints of underpayments from the workers:
In 2016,received several complaints about the online fashion store concerning the non-supply of goods and of the difficulty in making contact with the owner. At the time, , Rod Stowe commented:
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Fair Work Ombudsman v Her Fashion Box Pty Ltd & Anor  FCCA 425 (28 February 2019)
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