Hamburger chain Grill’d has been ordered to give a Melbourne woman her job back after she said she was sacked for standing up for fair pay and conditions.
Kahlani Pyrah, 20, says she was sacked after taking steps through hospitality union United Voice to end agreements that underpaid wages and penalty rates.
But Grill’d says she was fired after the company investigated bullying complaints made against her.
Federal Court Judge Philip Burchardt ordered that she be temporarily reinstated on Monday, though she will remain on leave without pay until a final decision after a trial next month.
The decision means that Ms Pyran will now be able to attend a Fair Work Commission hearing on Thursday where she will fight to have the existing wage agreements, which underpaid her up to $4000 a year, terminated.
Grill’d has already agreed to renegotiate contracts.
Outside court Ms Pyrah said the decision wasn’t just a win for her but for young workers across Australia.
“I want to be able to go to this hearing on Thursday at the Fair Work Commission to terminate this agreement so that not only myself but all of my co-workers can have the decent pay that we deserve and that we work so hard for,” she said.
“We don’t have to be scared to stand up for our rights.”
United Voice secretary Jess Walsh said more than 24,000 people had signed a petition calling for Ms Pyrah to be reinstated.
“This brave young woman has had overwhelming support in the community in her efforts to fight for her right to speak out,” she said.
In a statement, Grill’d said they looked forward to the bullying case against Ms Pyrah being resolved quickly.
“We are supportive of the judge’s decision that she should not return to the workplace nor get paid as this is in the interest of the welfare of the team at Grill’d Camberwell,” the company said.