Employer in court for failure to pay minimum wage

| 22/09/2017 | 0 Comments

(CNS): In what is believed to be one of the first cases of its kind, Stephen McDermott, of Beauty’s Edge Salon and Spa, appeared in court Tuesday charged with seven counts of failure to pay the national minimum basic wage along with six counts of failure to pay public holiday remuneration. However, the hearing was adjourned for two weeks to enable investigation of the defendant’s claims he had started to make restitution to the underpaid staff. Under The Labour (National Minimum Basic Wage) Order promulgated last year, employees in Cayman must be paid at least CI$6 per hour.

Attorney for the defence Dennis Brady told the court that while his client understood he had violated the law, he had since made good by making payments to those employees who were affected. The lawyer then asked, upon instruction from his client, if anything could be done in consideration of that. Magistrate Valdis Foldats responded that the decision would be up to the crown.

The prosecution noted it was the first they had heard of McDermott making restitution and most times it would depend on the course the defendant takes as to whether they are treated leniently. He also pointed out there was no proof of any payments.

The magistrate said it would be up to McDermott to provide proof after which the authorities could investigate.

Brady responded that he client has made, and is continuing to make, restitution.

Foldats gave the defence two weeks to provide the relevant information to the crown, adding that by then the investigations would be under way. He thanked McDermott for indicating he was “trying to rectify matters; that will help”.

The hearing was adjourned until 3 October.

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