Employee had ‘mental capacity of 13-year-old’ says guilty manager

A retail manager who deliberately underpaid an adult employee $30,000 — saying he had the mental capacity of a 13-year-old and didn’t deserve the full amount — has been fined $11,500.

The Fair Work Ombudsman took action against Maria Doherty, who formerly managed and part-owned the Garfield Berry Farm Store in Gippsland, after she underpaid the casual employee by $31,040 between December 2006 and June 2009.

The male staff member, in his 20s, was paid $10.79 to $12.78 an hour, but entitled to almost twice that rate.
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When inspectors raised the problem with Doherty, they were told he had the mental capacity of a 13-year-old and was not worth $17 or $18 an hour,‘ Federal Magistrate Heather Riley said during the court judgment last Friday — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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