Fair Work begins legal action against Fun Tea store operator, alleging wage theft of more than $180,000

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The operator of a bubble tea shop in Adelaide, which was the scene of a high-profile attack earlier this year, is facing a lawsuit to pay less than 20 employees $186,000.

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has begun action against Yuxuan Group, which operates “Fun Tea” outlets on Gouger Street, York Street and Rundle Mall.

Last month a Gouger Street customer, Li “Gaven” Guo, 39, was convicted of assault after slapping a waitress. who had complained to her boss about the alleged underpayment.

The assault video spread on the Internet, attracting more than 55 million views on Chinese social media platform Weibo.

The Fair Work Ombudsman will allege that some of the low-paid workers were visa holders, including international students.

Four of them were under the age of 21.

Sandra Parker, an ombudsman at Fair Work, said the issues of underpaid visa holders are dangerous, because these workers are vulnerable to exploitation.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman will hold business operators accountable when we encounter allegations of vulnerable workers,” Parker said.

The ombudsman will claim that 20 workers received fixed wages of between $10 and $18 an hour, which is less than they are owed under the fast food industry award.

Sandra Parker, an ombudsman for the Fair Work Program, said visa holders may be vulnerable to workplace exploitation.(

Supplied: FairWork

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The allegations also include that workers were not provided with breaks or minimum participation requirements.

Ombudsman Yang Su, the former director of Yuxuan Group, is also being pursued by the ombudsman, alleging that it was involved in record keeping and salary payment violations.

Legal action against Fun Tea follows A review of cafes and fast food outlets across Adelaide’s Chinatown district In April, during which FWO inspectors discovered “high levels of non-compliance” with pay rates and penalties.

Ms Parker said employees with concerns about their pay should contact Fair Work for free advice.

“Employers also need to recognize that compliance in the fast food, restaurant and café sector remains a priority for the FWO.”

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