A Gold Coast security operator has been fined a total of $115,668 for unlawfully dismissing a guard and underpaying three others.
According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, Adam Marcinkowski dismissed one full-time employee because he queried the hours he had been rostered to work.
“This dismissal breached the Fair Work Act, which makes it unlawful to take adverse action against an employee for making a complaint or enquiry in relation to their employment,” the Ombudsman said in a statement.
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It’s understood Marcinkowski and his former company, VIP Security Services Pty Ltd, paid guards a flat $24 hourly rate that failed to cover the weekend, night and public holiday rates employees were entitled to under the Security Services Industry Award 2010.
Overtime and annual leave entitlements were also underpaid and unlawful deductions from wages for uniforms were also made.
Federal Circuit Court Judge Michael Jarrett said that Mr Marcinkowski’s conduct was “indicative of systemic behaviour which suggests not only an utter disregard for the law, but also a lack of consideration for basic entitlements, workplace rights and decency”.
“He plainly knew the relevant rates at the time he employed each of the employees but deliberately caused (his company) not to pay them, but an insufficient flat rate instead,” Judge Jarrett said.
VIP Security was contracted to provide security services at a range of Gold Coast City Council sites, including three libraries, for two years from April 2015.
The Fair Work Ombudsman said a penalty could not be imposed against VIP Security Services Pty Ltd because Mr Marcinkowski caused it to be placed into liquidation in April.
“Mr Marcinkowski is now the sole director of new company, VIP Securities International Pty Ltd, which employs some of the same staff VIP Security Services Pty Ltd had employed,” the Ombudsman said.
They’re now preparing to refer the matter to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, which regulates compliance with corporations law.
The three underpaid guards have since been back-paid in full.