Hair salon faces court over staff pays

The Fair Work Ombudsman is taking the owner of a Shellharbour hair salon to court over alleged  non-payment of staff.

In a release from the ombudsman  it states that Nelvin Nitesh Lal and the House of Colour in Shellharbour Square are being taken to the Federal Circuit Court over unpaid wages to two woman totalling $765.

In its Statement of Claim before the court, the ombudsman alleges  a 19-year-old employee was ‘‘unlawfully’’ paid nothing for two full days of work performed on a trial basis and second worker in her early 20s was paid only $250 for five full days of work.

The court action is to seek an injunction to restrain Mr Lal from underpaying employees and requiring him to undertake workplace training.

The injunction Statement of Claim also lists incidents at Mr Lal’s hair salons in Hurstville and Erina.

At the Hurstville salon it is alleged a worker was paid nothing for six days of work despite being entitled to $1224.

An employee aged in her early 20s at the Erina salon was allegedly underpaid $4189 as a result of being paid a flat weekly rate regardless of the hours she worked.

The alleged underpayments occurred between June 2012 and September 2013.

It is the first time the Fair Work Ombudsman has taken out such an injunction and, and is in response to  concerns that complaints from employees suggest a pattern of non-compliant behaviour.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says inspectors made extensive efforts to engage with Mr Lal before placing the matter before the Court.

 “Unfortunately, we were not able to secure sufficient co-operation and the alleged underpayments have not been rectified,” Ms James said.

Mr Lal faces a maximum penalty of up to $10,200 and his companies face maximum penalties of between $25,500 and $51,000 per breach. 

Hair Salon at Shellharbour was contacted for comment.