EMPLOYER TELLS STAFF THEY CAN 'F...ING GO STRAIGHT TO THE DOLE QUEUE': COURT WILL HEAR
12 July 2017, Written by David Simmons
THE Fair Work Ombudsman will take the owner of VIP Security Services to court after he allegedly threatened to send staff "straight to the dole queue" if they spoke to Ombudsman inspectors.
The watchdog has commenced legal action against security boss and former Palmer United Party candidate for Gaven, Adam Marcinkowski, for allegedly taking unlawful adverse action against three employees, in addition to underpaying staff almost $16,000.
After the Ombudsman visited the sites, it is alleged Marcinkowski directed a supervisor to tell all employees that if they spoke to the inspectors they would be fired.
The Ombudsman claims Marcinkowski allegedly said during a phone conversation: "Can you just do me a favour, get around all the sites and if I hear that any of our guards has spoken to them (Fair Work) they can just f...ing go straight to the dole queue".
It is also alleged that after an employee approached the Ombudsman for advice about his workplace rights Marcinkowski yelled at, and fired, him.
Marcinkowski allegedly fired two more employees following the Ombudsman's inspection; one for refusing to sign a back-dated agreement intended to revoke his leave entitlements and one for failing to return to work immediately after spending days in an intensive care unit with pneumonia.
If true, these actions contravene the Fair Work Act. The Ombudsman also claims Marcinkowski has contravened workplace laws by underpaying three employees a total of $15,938 between April 2015 and June 2016. The company has since back-paid the three guards in full.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says legal action was necessary considering the severity of the alleged contraventions.
"It is completely unacceptable for an employer to take adverse action against a worker, including dismissing them, for exercising basic workplace rights," says James.
"It is also completely unacceptable for an employer to tell workers to sign up to an agreement when they have been directly advised that it fails to meet award conditions."
Marcinkowski faces personal potential fines of $10,800 per contravention, and his company faces up to $54,000 per contravention.
VIP provides security services at a range of Gold Coast City Council sites including three libraries.
The matter is listed for a directions hearing in Brisbane on August 14.
Author: David Simmons