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News News WA restaurant chain admits underpaying thousands to 66 workers

Perth-based Shimizu restaurants face tens of thousands of dollars in fines after admitting to underpaying 66 workers.

Golden Maple Pty Ltd, which operates the Japanese restaurant Shimizu, has admitted to underpaying the workers a total of $31,000.

The restaurant workers, including young international students with limited English, were not paid entitlements including wages, allowances and annual leave.

Workplace Ombudsman WA state director Leigh Quealy said some workers had been required to complete 20 hours of unpaid "work experience" before they commenced paid employment.

Workers were also found to have been underpaid casual loadings and weekend penalty rates, wages and laundry allowances, while accrued annual leave was not paid to workers on termination.

Golden Maple and CityTeam, which employed staff, had only rectified the underpayments after two audits and several complaints, Mr Quealy said.

The two companies face charges that carry a maximum penalty of $33,000 for each breach of the Workplace Relations Act, while Mr Chia faces a maximum penalty of $6,600 for each breach.

The Federal Court action against Golden Maple and CityTeam Pty Ltd, which employed the restaurant workers, and a director of both companies, Lawrence Chia, has been adjourned to penalty hearing set for 23 April 2009.

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