Reject Shop brushes off wage theft class action as ‘immaterial’

Discount retailer The Reject Shop is facing a class action lawsuit for “purported underpayments” to staff, launched by specialist law firm Adero Law

Between February 2016 and April 2021, seven former employees of the discount retailer allege underpayment during their employment with the company.

However, in a statement, the retailer responded that “any under-award payments to team members, will be corrected” adding Adero Law has not clarified the details of the claims.

“To date, The Reject Shop has not received a copy of Adero’s class action. However, based on the previous correspondence from Adero, The Reject Shop expects any exposure to be immaterial.

“The Reject Shop takes its obligations to team members seriously and has processes in place to monitor compliance with employment laws, including external annual reviews.”

The retailer said one of the signatories to the class action was claiming “less than $20”.

According to the Australian Financial Review, the law firm alleges the discount retailer underpaid up to 1400 salaried managers an average of $40,000 to $65,000.

Former employee and lead claimant Bradley Cannan has alleged he was underpaid $98,000 for working 50 to 55 hours a week when he was paid only for 40 hours while managing a Tasmanian store from 2017 to 2020.

Adero principal Rory Markham said the firm was “filling a regulatory gap in areas where unions and the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) were not taking action and employers had an incentive not to self-report.”

The firm also says it plans to launch further underpayment actions against 10 (unnamed) retailers.

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