Couple in Australia to stand trial for 'exploiting' Pinoy workers
A couple will stand trial in Australia on Thursday for allegedly not paying four Filipino workers more than $261,000 in back wages and overtime pay, a report on The Stawell Times-News said Monday (Australian time).
Michael and Rowena Parkes will face the Australia's Fair Work Ombudsman for allegedly underpaying two Filipino couples they employed for their motel business from November 2012 to January 2015, the report said.
A separate report on The Sydney Morning Herald said the couple recruited Maricar Virata on a 457 or temporary skilled workers visa in 2013. They reportedly promised Virata an annual salary of $55,000 plus superannuation, a salary she would share with her partner Rolando Gagate.
However, upon their arrival, Virata said she was made to work 18 hours a day, exceeding the promised 40-hour workweek, for $3 an hour, and was put on call 24 hours a day
They were then fired in early 2014 through email while they were on vacation in the Philippines.
Rhea Monleon and Michael Tan, another Filipino couple, was also duped by the Parkes, the report said.
A report on ABC Australia said Parkes only paid Rhea. They also allegedly did not pay her more than $17,400 for hundreds of hours in overtime work and Michael $61,500 in due wages.
The Filipino workers were assigned to the Comfort Inn Country Plaza at Halls Gap and the Quality Inn Country Plaza at Queanbeyan, New South Wales.
The Parkes face $10,200 per violation while their company, NSW Motel Management Services Pty Ltd, will shell out $51,000 per violation.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is also in the process of obtaining court orders which would force the company to pay the back wages of all four employees. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News