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Young Workers Centre YWC
Worker Win: Retail Assistant

26 year old retail assistant, Cassie*, won back over $10,000 in stolen wages *name has been changed

Cassie had worked at a 'social enterprise' for about 12 months, where some proceeds of the sales in the shop funded social enterprise activity but it was not a charity. For the first half of her employment, she was not paid and was classed as a volunteer despite performing work also performed by paid employees. 

After 6 months, she finally began to be paid as a permanent part-time employee, but had no regular hours and no guaranteed minimum hours meaning she was should have actually been classified as a casual employee. Cassie never had breaks as she was often the only employee in the store and was never paid superannuation. She ended up leaving her employment after she asked the employer to pay her minimum wages.

YWC Legal Action:

We wrote a detailed letter to the employer setting out all of the worker’s employment rights, including minimum wages, overtime and penalty rates, right to breaks and employers obligations in relation to superannuation contributions. The employer agreed to reimburse the wage theft of around $10,000 as well as make superannuation contributions and also sought advice and applied the General Retail Industry Award to all its current employees, improving the workplace for workers going forwards!