Domino's Australia cautioned for underpaying employees

Domino's Pizza has been hit with 17 formal cautions by the Fair Work Ombudsman and could face further action after it was found to be underpaying employees in Australia.

The ombudsman says only four of 23 stores it has finished investigating were fully compliant with workplace law, with breaches including non-payment for hours worked, delivery allowance and leave entitlements, unauthorised deductions, and record-keeping breaches.

Domino's, which had already returned millions of dollars in underpaid wages and superannuation following its own audit, has been put on notice that future non- compliance could result in fines.

Ombudsman Sandra Parker said on Friday the results highlighted systemic issues.

"We expect better from a major network like Domino's," she said.

"It should not be up to the Fair Work Ombudsman to find and alert businesses to the systemic issues identified."

Inspectors interviewed 144 Domino's workers and found 20 had been underpaid a total of $1,978 in one month.

The ombudsman also noted Domino's employed a large number of vulnerable people, with 72 per cent aged under 25 and nearly half of them visa holders.

In addition, 65 per cent of audited franchisees were from non-English speaking backgrounds and had minimal knowledge of workplace laws.

Ms Parker said the ombudsman had been working with Domino's for several years and, while the company had improved, it still needed to closely monitor stores.

Domino's claimed the majority of the issues were "administrative errors", and said it correctly paid 97 per cent of employees.

Domino's Australia chief executive Nick Knight said its compliance systems were "well advanced" compared to other businesses.

He denied there were systemic issues.

"We have been saying for quite some time that there are no systemic issues across the business and the results from this investigation, as well as our own nationwide store audit, support this," he said in a statement to the ASX.

Shares in the company were up by $1.57, or 3.0 per cent, at $53.90, at 1030 AEST.

Llanelli, Wales, UK - February 19, 2011: The Llanelli town premises of Dominos pizza at night. Parked delivery vehicles in the foreground showing company logo.
Domino's (file picture). Source: istock.com



Greenpeace links forest destruction for palm oil to global brands

Greenpeace says global consumer brands continue to buy palm oil from companies that are cutting down Indonesia's rainforests despite repeated pledges to clean up their supply chains.

The environmental group says in a report released Wednesday that 25 palm oil producing groups it has investigated destroyed more than 130,000 hectares of natural forest in Indonesia since 2015.

It says all but one of those producers had supplied palm oil to consumer companies that are household names around the world in the past year.

Palm oil, mainly produced in Indonesia and Malaysia, is used in a slew of consumer products from snacks to cosmetics.

Rapid forest loss and greenhouse gas emissions have made Indonesia the fourth biggest contributor to global warming after China, the U.S. and India.

Forest in Indonesia (file picture).
Forest in Indonesia (file picture). Source: 1 NEWS

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Government moves to make pay equity claims easier - 'We must continue to close gap'

The Government want to make it easier for workers to lodge pay equity claims, introducing a proposed law on the 125th anniversary women first got the vote in New Zealand. 

Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees Galloway said today he was proud to take "the next step to address historic inequities in pay for women". 

He said The Equal Pay Amendment Bill was intended to make the process of making pay equity claims simplified and more accessible.

Acting Women's Minister Eugenie Sage said the bill was "one piece of the puzzle" in striving to close the gender pay gap. 

"Discrimination has led to lower pay for many female-dominated industries, despite having similar working conditions and skill requirements to comparable male-dominated occupations."

Earlier this year, National MP Denise Lee's Members' Bill on pay equity was voted down.

It intended to "eliminate and prevent discrimination on the basis of sex" in employment pay, and to also "promote enduring settlement of claims relating to sex discrimination on pay equity grounds". 

Labour MP Megan Woods saying there were "some very simple mechanistic reasons contained within this legislation why that would not occur", and fellow MP Jan Tinetti saying "this bill does put things backwards for pay equity". Labour, National and NZ First voted against it. 

Shot of New Zealand twenty dollars.
New Zealand $20 notes (file picture). Source: istock.com

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No vacancy: Curious mountain lion wanders around Colorado motel

A mountain lion has been caught on a surveillance camera dashing to the doorstep of a Colorado motel office, venturing toward the open doorway and then wandering away.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Jason Clay says nobody was hurt in the Sept. 9 encounter.

The Boulder Daily Camera reported Tuesday the lion approached the Foot of the Mountain Motel on Boulder's west side. Just after entering the camera's view, the lion pauses, as if startled.

Clay says that was when the lion spotted motel guests with with a dog on a leash.

Clay says the guests and their dog returned to their room and there was no trouble.

The lion thought better of kipping down for the night at the Foot of the Mountain Motel. Source: Associated Press

In August, a mountain lion entered a Boulder home and killed a house cat, and another was tranquilized and relocated from under a porch.


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McDonald's workers across US protest sexual harassment

McDonald's workers are staging protests in several cities in what organisers called the first multistate strike seeking to combat sexual harassment in the workplace.

In Chicago, several dozen protesters rallied today in front of McDonald's headquarters while a plane flew overhead with a banner reading, "McDonald's: Stop Sexual Harassment."

In New Orleans, current and former employees chanted, "Hey, McDonalds, you can't hide — we can see your nasty side."

Those are among 10 targeted cities. Other protests were held in St. Louis; Kansas City, Missouri; and Durham, North Carolina.

Protesters are demanding that McDonalds require anti-harassment training for managers and employees. The fast food chain defends its policies.

Another demand is forming a national committee to address sexual harassment, made up of workers, management and leaders of national women's groups.

Current and former McDonald's employees wear tape with "#MeToo" over their mouths as they up to one of their restaurants for a protest in New Orleans. Source: Associated Press