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Australia's Woolworths settles 2019 class action over underpaying staff

Australia's Woolworths settles 2019 class action over underpaying staff

People walk past a Woolworths supermarket following the easing of restrictions implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Sydney, Australia, June 16, 2020. Picture taken June 16, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/Files

:Australia's biggest grocery chain Woolworths Group Ltd said on Friday it has provisionally settled a class action lawsuit filed against it by a Canberra law firm in 2019 for underpaying supermarket workers.

Adero Law filed the class action https://reut.rs/2YtOwN2 in November 2019 on behalf of Woolworths Supermarkets employees after the retailer disclosed it had underpaid https://reut.rs/3uROpab thousands of supermarket workers for years.

Woolworths is facing another civil proceeding by Australia's industrial relations watchdog, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO).

The FWO sued the grocery chain earlier this year for underpaying workers and is seeking repayment of the outstanding amounts, as well as penalties.

The retailer said on Friday the class action settlement is subject to court approval and the outcome of the FWO proceedings.

Woolworths also said it would make an ex-gratia payment https://bit.ly/3AjZVfB of AUS$2,500 plus retirement benefits to its about 20,000 current and former salaried team store members, who worked with the retailer for at least six months between January 2010 and September 2013.

Adero Law did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while the FWO declined to comment.

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar and Tejaswi Marthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

Source: Reuters

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