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QLD Employer won't Pay Me - What to Do under Employment Law?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Lachlan0909, 9 September 2015.

  1. Lachlan0909

    Lachlan0909 Member

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    Hi all,
    I have been under some stress for a week because it seems like my employer has completely cut me off and is refusing to pay me or answer any of my phone calls... He is in quite a lot of money in debt with me always promising me he would pay me this week but look now.. He's not at the office, he's no where to be seen and he's ignoring me trying to avoid paying me.. Let me explain.

    I am 16 years old living in Queensland and 3 weeks ago I was approached by him and we sat down and talked about the job then he employed me, but what he said was exactly these words "you're under 18 so I cannot legally employ you, here's what we're going to do, I'm going to pay you cash $10 an hour + X amount for every sign up and another X amount for every sale"

    Great, I said. So I started working for him straight away for 3 weeks straight and he now owes me $300 for some sales I did but now it seems that I did all these sales for him and he made a lot more money out of it then I did and now he's not paying me and as I said he is ignoring my phone calls...

    Every time I have been to the office (I have gone 3 times this past week because I live 4 hours away from it and it's very hard to get to considering I'm 16) he is not there and he has told all the other employees there to not talk to or contact me... He obviously has down right ripped me off and I'm furious because I gave up $900 worth of shifts in my other job just to give this one a shot because he had promised me so many good things but now I'm struggling financially just because he has scammed me.

    I'm honestly really confused and just stressed over this because I'm just 16 and I'm trying to make a future for myself but now I'm just worse off then before.. Surely there is some legal action I can take because I am sure it was highly illegal for him to employ a 16 year old and also to pay in cash and avoiding tax. I'm sure he's doing it to other employees as well.

    I need some legal help here because I need justice. I don't know what I can do legally because when I think about it technically I have no proof that I worked there and I have no proof that I worked with him. Actually I have an ID badge for the company with my picture and name on it which I was given while I worked there but other then that, what can I do under Employment Law?

    I have been scammed and I need my money so can someone please help me? :)

    That will be much appreciated as I am very stressed out right now and I don't know what to do. Thanks again.
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Lachlan0909,

    Unless there is something illegal about the nature of your employer's business (i.e. a drug dealer or something) there is nothing illegal about employing a 16 year old. You are no longer considered a "school age child" and therefore you are only subject to a few limitations placed on you as an under 18 worker are include things like: not requiring you to be dressed in a provocative manner (I'm guessing that doesn't apply). There are also requirements that your employer keep basic records about your employment as a minor (which mind you if he fails to do this he is liable to penalties).

    Even though you are under 18 (which is the requisite age to enter into most contracts) there is an exception for minors entering employment contracts as the contract is for their benefit. Therefore you can enforce your contract of employment against your employer as if you were an adult entering a contract of employment. Don't worry that you don't have your agreement in writing. You can tell your side of the story to the court and the court iwll determine who is more believable or credible out of the two of you.

    I would write a letter of resignation to your employer to terminate your employment with him (I would suggest this as you are only going to have grief working for someone who is a liar that tries to cheat a 16 year old out of his proper pay), and request that all outstanding payments, commissions, superannuation, leave entitlements etc be paid to you within 14 days. Make sure that he receives the letter and if he doesn't respond or come through with your money in 14 days I would contact the Fair Work Ombudsman. The Fair Work Ombudsman can investigate and take action on your behalf to make sure that all legal entitlements under relevant Commonwealth workplace laws are paid.
     
  3. Lachlan0909

    Lachlan0909 Member

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    He still hasn't replied, so I'm going to take the approach you told me to do, if I sent a letter to him what exactly would I write on the letter ? I don't know where to start, I'm confused as for what I put on the letter, I have written down all the hours I worked for him so should I write down all those hours and dates on the letter so he doesn't try ripping me off again and pay me next to nothing ? If you could just explain what exactly I write on the letter thanks.
     
  4. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Lachlan0909,

    I wouldn't normally do this, but since you are young, I have suggested below a basic little draft you might use for your letter.

    "I give notice of my resignation from my position as [insert your position description] with [insert business name] effective as of the date of this letter.

    As my employment is now at an end, I formally demand that all outstanding remuneration including wages and commission, accrued annual leave and long service leave entitlements be paid into the following bank account within 14 days of the date of this letter together with an itemised statement.

    Bank account:

    A/c Name: [INSERT]
    A/c No: [INSERT]
    A/c BSB: [INSERT]

    Should I not receive payment of all outstanding remuneration within 14 days I reserve the right to take legal action and notify the Fairwork Commission to investigate and recover any monies that I have not received.

    I have attached to this letter a full record of all of my hours worked for your reference"


    Just make sure that you insert the relevant details and attach a separate piece of paper with all of your hours and days worked on it.

    Best of luck!
     

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