Former Gami Chicken outlet operators face wages court case

Gami Chicken operators court
It is alleged workers have been partially back-paid but that more than $40,000 is owing. (Source: Facebook)

The Fair Work Ombudsman is taking the former operators of a Gami Chicken & Beer franchise outlet to court over alleged wages and employment breaches.

Three people are facing court. Vanna Taing and Brandon Bui previously ran the Gami-Southland store at the Westfield Southland Shopping Centre in Cheltenham, Melbourne. Gary Lai had an HR role in the business.

The FWO alleges the three men knowingly provided false pay slips to a Fair Work Inspector conducting a surprise audit of Gami Chicken & Beer stores across Melbourne, Sydney and Perth in 2019.

Two years later, after receiving requests for assistance from employees, the FWO undertook a second investigation into Gami-Southland.

The FWO believed 16 kitchen and wait staff had been denied their full wages and entitlements for three weeks before the restaurant shut down, and issued Taing and Bui with a Compliance Notice.

The FWO alleges Gami Chicken operators failed to follow a Compliance Notice

However, the FWO alleges the pair failed to comply and pay-back the workers’ entitlements in full. It is estimated more than $40,000 is owning after a partial pay-back.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Kristen Hannah said the regulator would continue to take legal action if compliance orders are not obeyed.

“Employers also need to be aware that providing false records is serious and unacceptable conduct,” Hannah said.

The FWO also alleges Taing and Bui failed to make and keep records relating to termination of employment and is seeking penalties of $13,320 for the alleged breach. They also each face a penalty of up to $6,660 for their alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notice.

Taing, Bui and Lai each face a penalty of up to $13,320 for the alleged falsifying of records.

FWO wants the alleged underpayments paid in full, plus interest and superannuation.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Melbourne on 3 August 2023.