Pizzeria Boss Fined $334K Because You Can’t Pay Workers In Pizza And Soda

When I was about 7 years old, the idea of growing up and getting a job where I could eat all the pizza and drink all the soda I wanted sounded like the best life anyone could ever have. Who needs money anyway, when you’ve got all life’s necessities in those two substances? Cheese and sugar! But getting paid in pizza and soda isn’t such a great idea, you know, legally speaking.

The operator of a pizza franchise in Australia made some space in his budget over four years by paying staff in pizza and soft drinks over four years, reports The Herald Sun, and now he’s paying for it.

A total of 111 teenagers working as waiters, cooks and kitchen staff at the discount chain were underpaid by $258,000 between July 2009 and February 2012, an investigation found, prompting a federal circuit court judge to impose a fine of $334,000 on the franchisee, adding that he wasn’t convinced the man was “genuinely remorseful.”

“It was not disputed that it was a practice for employees … to get ‘free’ or ‘half-priced’ food and pizza and soft drinks and that the respondents now understand that this cannot ‘offset’ legal obligations to employees,” he ruled. “Such a practice belongs in the dark ages.”

Except that the Dark Ages were even darker because they didn’t even have pizza. Poor things.

The employer will now have to pay that fine as well as pay back all the wages he was supposed to fork over in the first place, to the tune of about $600,000 total.

Boss fined $334,000 for paying staff with pizza and soft drinks [The Herald Sun]

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