IT company Vertebral taken to court by Fair Work Ombudsman

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The Fair Work Ombudsman has taken legal action against Vertebral Pty Ltd on the Gold Coast and its director, Yasien Adams, alleging that the company underpaid a worker.

FWO received a request for assistance from a visa holder from the United Arab Emirates in 2020, who was in the employ of Vertebral.

In December 2021, an FWO inspector issued Vertebral with a Compliance Notice, after forming a belief that the IT services company had underpaid the worker's minimum wages, payment in lieu of notice of termination entitlements, and annual leave.

However, the FWO now alleges that Vertebral failed to comply with the notice which required the company to calculate and back-pay the worker's entitlements, without a reasonable excuse.

FWO also alleges that Adams was involved with the contravention of the order.

Penalties sought by the FWO for not complying with the notice include up to $33,300 for Vertebral, and up to $6,660 for Adams.

On top of the monetary penalties, FWO is also seeking an order to force Vertebral to rectify the alleged underpayment in full, with interest and superannuation.

Vertebral targets the small to medium sized business market, and has offices on the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth according to the company's website.

Tech Mahindra, Ventrac Australia, Boral, Visy and Superscan are said to be Vertebral clients.

The IT services company lists Microsoft, VMware, Cisco, Sophos, IBM and HP among its partners.

Several IT companies have run into trouble with FWO the last few years.

IBM Australia was made to backpay $12 million in unpaid wages between 2012 and 2020 to 1600 staff in September 2020.

IT services provider Backup Bloke copped $13,100 in penalties after being taken to court by  FWO in December 2021, and in March the following Sydney's D365 group was found to have underpaid several staff thousands of dollars each.

CRN has sought comment from Yasien Adams and Vertebral.

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