Merivale had agreed to a settlement in the underpayments class action brought against it, but now the law firm representing the class action applicants is looking to renegotiate the settlement terms.

Merivale had agreed to a settlement in February this year, after the lawsuit was first brought against it in late 2019 on behalf of Merivale employees that were employed at any time during the period from 25 December 2013 to 24 December 2019.

The claim alleged that throughout that period, a number of Merivale employees were paid less than the minimum amounts to which they were entitled under the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010.  These employees included salaried workers who alleged that they were paid for 38 hours per week while being required to work at least 50-hour weeks without any overtime payments, as well as casual and salaried workers who allege that the rates that they were paid were less than their minimum entitlements. As part of the claim, Adero Law also contended that Merivale’s employee agreement, created in 2007 and amended in 2009, varied from the Hospitality Award, and was not a valid one.

After years of back and forth in Federal Court, Merivale agreed to settle the case in February this year, for a reported $18 million. Any employees that worked within the above time period were able register for the class action up until early April.

But with a significant increase in registered claimants – a reported 788 people – Adero Law has suggested this week in court that the settlement is no longer a fair agreement and will need to be renegotiated.

The Court has ordered that Adero Law provides Merivale’s lawyers, Johnson Winter Slattery, with a revised model by 14 May.

Merivale declined to comment on the situation, while Adero Law did not respond to requests for comment by the time of publication.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *