Café owner fined over worker exploitation

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A Kingsland café owner has been reprimanded by the Employment Relations Authority after they breached the basic employment rights of two migrant workers.

An investigation by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment found that Sherrie Lin – owner of the Page Corner Café – failed to provide the minimum wage and correct holiday pay to the two staffers.

Lin also failed to provide employment agreements and didn’t keep wage, time, holiday or leave records.

"The two workers in this case were left significantly out of pocket as a result of the employer's actions,” said Labour Inspectorate regional manager David Milne.

"One employee was left stressed after continually asking to be paid, and the other recognised their employer assumed the exploitation would not be reported to the Inspectorate in order to protect their worker's visa,” he added.
The ERA ordered Lin to pay $30,405 – including $20,000 in penalties.

"The Labour Inspectorate takes these kinds of cases very seriously,” warned Milne. “Not only do these employers breach the rights of their employees, they also gain an unfair advantage over the wider business community who are good employers and meet all their obligations."

"Migrant workers employed in restaurants, bars and cafes can be particularly vulnerable in understanding their basic employment rights, and employers must know this mistreatment will not be tolerated,’ he added.

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