Domino’s faces Federal Court accused of underpaying workers

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Pizza giant Domino’s is facing a massive legal battle over accusations it underpaid its workers for almost five years, including entitlements like penalty rates and loading for casual workers.

Former employees are now demanding their wages and other bonuses from the fast-food chain, with a trial kicking off in the Federal Court on Wednesday.

The lawsuit, brought by former employee Riley Gall, alleges Domino’s underpaid its delivery drivers and in-store workers between June 2013 and January 2018.

He claims the pizza chain told its Australian franchisees to pay their employees under enterprise bargaining agreements, but some workers were covered by the Fast Food Industry Award.

In a statement of claim, seen by NCA NewsWire, the lawsuit claims the Award workers suffered economic losses as they were not paid the wages they were entitled to when they were employed by Domino’s franchise operators.

Mr Gall claims he has suffered loss and damage because of the “contravening conduct”, including $10,481 in casual loadings and penalty rates.

Domino’s denies underpaying the workers and insists they correctly charged the rates.

Rachel Doyle SC, acting for the applicant, told the Federal Court on Wednesday their primary case was that Domino’s made representations to its franchise operators for years about which rate they were to pay to its workers.

She said the parties disagreed whether these representations were “fact or opinion”.

Proceedings were held up after lawyers acting for Domino’s were asked to explain why they had not properly set out the evidence they would be relying upon in their arguments.

The court was told “elaborate negotiations” had been proposed late on Tuesday night in regards to evidence in the trial.

Ms Doyle said it risked interfering with her opening, which relied on many of the documents that were proposed to be negotiated with.

“Hundreds of documents without any attempt to identify the pinpoint references that are either figures that may have strayed into these documents and the basis upon which it is sought to redact them,” she said.

Gregory Harris KC, acting for Domino’s, said the case was about Mr Gall’s claim and what other common questions of fact and law would bind the pizza chain.

Mr Harris said he wasn’t trying to “surprise” the court after issues were flagged about his case.

“Once the evidence is closed we will formulate our submissions by reference to the evidence as to which parts are relevant to answer,” Mr Harris said.

The trial continues.

Originally published as Pizza giant Domino’s in legal battle over allegations it underpaid drivers, in-store workers for years


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