May 2018 | Tasmanian hotel operator fined for exploiting temporary visa workers because of their race

Date: 28 May 2018

Source: ABC

Two Malaysian workers of Chinese descent in Australia on temporary visas were deliberately exploited, underpaid and discriminated against by a Tasmanian hotel operator because of their race, a Federal Circuit Court judge has ruled.

The landmark outcome of action by the Fair Work Ombudsman's first racial discrimination litigation has seen the now former hotel operator fined a total of $211,104 in what has been described as "an uncomfortable truth" about the exploitation of migrant workers on 457 visas.

In the case, the ombudsman proved that Chang Yen Chang — who owned the Scamander Beach Resort Hotel on Tasmania's east coast until 2014 — treated husband and wife Malaysian employees Kien Hoong Loh and Kah Yoon Low differently to Australian staff by underpaying them more than $28,000.