Petrol franchise could face class action lawsuit

Sarah Stowe

A leading petrol retailer could face a class action lawsuit after underpayment revelations emerged last month.

Caltex could face legal action after it was revealed in a report by Fairfax Media that  ACA Lawyers and California-based barrister Julian Hammond are investigating two potential class actions against franchisor.

One of these were brought on behalf of workers, the other brought on behalf of franchisees. The report also speculates the allegedly unfair franchise model that limits franchisee profit.

The news comes as just last month, the petrol retailer challenged claims of underpayment and allegations franchisees told employees to lie about their wages to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

“Caltex is a giant international business which has been accused of paying night shift workers in its services stations as little as $13 an hour, less than half the legal rate,” said ACA principal Steven Lewis.

“All workers, regardless of where they work, have the right to be paid in accordance with the law and to work in a safe workplace.”

A spokesperson from Caltex said it was focused on investigating alleged franchisee underpayment of workers.

“Where there is workplace non-compliance, sanctions will be applied and may include termination,” he said.

“There is no excuse for not operating within the law and anyone who thinks otherwise will not be in business with Caltex Australia.”