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Underpaid - Employer Avoiding What is Owed?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by blk00, 26 April 2014.

  1. blk00

    blk00 Member

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    Hi, I found out after I quit my job that I had been underpaid ( wages) on about 10 different counts during my entire employment at my previous work. This has been confirmed by Fair Work and I have tried to liaise with my previous boss about the issue. However he is just trying to fob me off and delay paying back what I should have been paid by employment law.

    I then placed a formal complaint with Fair Work Australia to try to resolve the situation only to hear back that they will not help me with this. I have no idea what else I could do now to take this further?
     
  2. Worldly1

    Worldly1 Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,

    How did Fair Work confirm that you had been underpaid? Did they do so in writing?

    So you made a formal complaint to Fair Work and did they reply that they couldn’t help you because the complaint is outside their jurisdiction and better handled by another department/process, or because they subsequently decided that no laws had been breached? I would have thought that if Fair Work confirmed that you had been underpaid, that they could issue a compliance notice or use an enforceable undertaking.

    If Fair Work won’t help you, you may take your own legal action in a small claims court. Did the Fair Work Inspector you were dealing with recommend or explain the small claims process and give you information to help you start a small claims action?

    The small claims process is evidence-based and you’d need to give evidence to the court to support your case — so its important that you’ve kept relevant documents to support your case, including calculations of money you think is owed to you and records of conversations/written confirmation from your dealings with Fair Work.

    The Fair Work website sets out the Small claims procedure. You could also write a letter to your previous boss or call to inform them that you intend to take your own legal action - that might put some heat on them to do the right thing.
     
  3. blk00

    blk00 Member

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    Thank you so much for your reply. Fair work never gave me anything in writing to confirm my underpayment but confirmed this over the phone and have me a reference number to give to the employer so they could access the case. I also used the online paycheck plus calculator from fair work to double check and confirm what I had been told verbally.

    After I placed my formal complaint this is the response I got from fair work (I won't paste the whole thing as it is quite lengthy): " An assessment has been made of the information you have provided and while we will not be directly involved in this matter at this time, the information you have provided will be used to inform future actions of FWO."

    I think this is because my previous employer has not outright denied to pay me. Instead he is just delaying and trying to fob me off indefinitely which I think is ridiculous - it's not as if I'm asking for a bonus, I just want what I was legally supposed to get from the start.
     
  4. blk00

    blk00 Member

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    Fair work didn't even give me any advice on what to do next so I am thinking I will have to take matters into my own hands and try the small claims
     
  5. Worldly1

    Worldly1 Well-Known Member

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    Let us know how you go with the letter to your boss and if your boss responds by paying you within the time specified in your letter (which you could email a copy to your boss as well. You might get inspiration from the Arts Law Letter of Demand example), and whether you end up going through the Small Claims procedure.
     
  6. chantelle

    chantelle Member

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    If you can maybe even speak to a lawyer and get them to write up a 7 day letter of demand, I had to do this when one of my old bosses under paid me and wasn't going to give me the money at all within the 7 day I had the money she owed me goodluck
     
  7. Hillcrest

    Hillcrest Member

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    What exactly does fairwork do? They declined my claim also and advised i seek legal advice. I thought they were there to help.
    Firstly they told me to get proof of my casual employment so I contact the Aust tax Office for a Tax file declaration where the employer ticked Casual. Yesterday I advised them I have the proof so can they proceed with my claim and it was a no. What do they do? Now do I need to seek legal advice. They owe me 2 weeks pay. I dont have money for a lawyer. Is there any other govt dept I can contact?
     

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