Legal action in the Federal Court has commenced against United Petroleum Pty Ltd (United Petroleum), alleging the company failed to produce documents when it was legally required to do so for an investigation into workplace law breaches.
The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) commenced an investigation in 2018 into United Petroleum’s potential franchisor liability in connection with alleged contraventions of workplace laws at a United Petroleum outlet located on Beaudesert Road in Coopers Plains, Brisbane.
At the time the outlet was operated by Parashar’s Pty Ltd under agreement with United Petroleum.
As part of this investigation, in November 2018 the FWO issued United Petroleum a Notice to Produce specified records and documents.
The FWO alleges that United Petroleum breached the Fair Work Act by failing to provide any records or documents as required under the terms of the Notice to Produce.
Ombudsman Sandra Parker said taking action to enforce compliance with Notices to Produce was fundamental for protecting the integrity of workplace laws.
“Notices to Produce are an important tool that Fair Work inspectors use to obtain documents we require for our investigations and businesses that fail to comply with these requests could face court action,” said Parker.
“Franchisors and franchisees should also be aware that enforcing compliance with workplace laws in the franchising sector continues to be a priority for the Fair Work Ombudsman.”
United Petroleum faces a penalty of up to $63,000. The FWO is also seeking a Court Order requiring United Petroleum to provide the records and documents requested under the Notice to Produce so the FWO’s investigation into potential franchisor liability can continue.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Court in Melbourne on 6 November 2019.