Doble Express to face court accused of $250k rip-off

Fair Work Ombudsman drags express freight company to court over allegations it did not pay staff correctly

Doble Express to face court accused of $250k rip-off
Doble Express to face court accused of $250k rip-off
June 6, 2013

A New South Wales trucking company is being dragged to court for allegedly ripping off three of its employees to the tune of almost $250,000.

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has launched legal action against express freight operator Doble Express Transport and its part owner and manager, Graeme John Doble, for a litany of alleged underpayments between 2007 and 2013.

Doble Express, which operates depots in Sydney and regional NSW, is accused of paying flat rates of $18 to $19 for all hours worked, leading to underpayment of penalty rates for overtime, public holiday and shift work.

The FWO claims the employees were entitled to be paid more than $35 an hour for some overtime work. The employees were allegedly also underpaid meal and travel allowances, casual loadings and annual leave pay. Record-keeping breaches are also alleged.

Doble Express is accused of underpaying one driver $102,556, while another who performed administration and driving duties is chasing $86, 314. The FWO alleges an administration officer was also underpaid $60,111.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Michael Campbell says the significant amounts involved and the failure to rectify the alleged underpayments were significant factors in the decision to commence legal action.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Court in Sydney on June 14. Along with seeking a court order requiring the transporter to back-pay its employees, the FWO is pushing for penalties to be imposed on Graeme Doble and the company.

The FWO says Graeme Doble was allegedly involved in committing multiple breaches of workplace laws. For breaches up to December 28, 2012, he faces penalties of up to $6,600 per breach and the company faces penalties of up to $33,000 per breach.

For breaches after December 28, he faces penalties of up to $10,200 per breach and the company faces penalties of up to $51,000 per breach.

The underpayments were alleged to have occurred at Doble Express’s Dubbo and Orange depots. The company also operates depots at Villawood, Bathurst, Parkes, Mudgee, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga.

ATN sought a response from Doble Express but the company did not respond before deadline today.

On its website, the company says it is one of the largest privately owned and family operated express transport operators in NSW specialising in express parcel and pallet deliveries.

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