Restaurant Owner pays ex-worker $75k after Exploitation

A restaurant owner in New Zealand was ordered to pay an ex-worker more than $75,000 for unpaid wages and worker exploitation.

Restaurant Owner pays ex-worker $75k after Exploitation f

Mr George worked 70 hours per week for seven days.

A New Zealand-based restaurant owner has been ordered to pay an ex-employee more than $75,000 for unpaid wages and worker exploitation.

The Employment Relations Authority also ordered Madhan Bisht to pay a $50,000 fine to the crown for breaches of employment law.

It was heard that the employee, Susey George, was employed by Bisht at the Curry Leaf Restaurant in Auckland.

This came after the restaurant owner helped him apply for an employer-sponsored work visa in 2015.

Mr George worked at the restaurant for three years.

During that time, he lived at Bisht’s home. Bisht told him he had to live there as part of the visa sponsorship process.

Documents revealed that after working hours, Bisht often made Mr George do chores around his home.

During his time working at the restaurant, Mr George worked 70 hours per week for seven days.

The authority heard that usually, he worked for eight to 10 weeks without any days off.

Mr George told a labour inspector that he hardly ever finished work at the restaurant’s closing time, revealing that sometimes, he worked as late as 1 am.

In 2017, Mr George requested to take leave in order to visit his mother who was ill.

He made the request in January, however, Bisht did not allow him to take leave until June.

Mr George’s mother passed away before he was able to visit her and he was not given permission to attend her funeral.

Authority member Eleanor Robinson ruled the situation “a substantial abuse of the power imbalance between employer and employee”.

At the end of 2019, the Curry Leaf Restaurant entered voluntary liquidation.

But in the same location, the Imaxx Indian Restaurant opened in early 2020.

The sole shareholder of the restaurant is Manju Bisht, the wife of Madhan Bisht.

Ms Robinson said: “The fact that another Indian restaurant is now being operated from the same premises as the Curry Leaf Restaurant which has a connection with Mr Bisht is of concern in light of the breaches.”

During the investigation, authority officers tried to get in contact with Bisht for a statement.

Documents stated that in response, the restaurant owner was aggressive and offensive to the authority officer.

Stuff reported that since the ruling, Mr George now lives in India.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”