Australian authorities started legal action on Monday against a 7-Eleven franchise owner for allegedly underpaying two migrant employees.
Australian authorities will allege in Australia's Federal Court, the 7-Eleven franchise owner in western Sydney underpaid workers by almost 50,000 Australian dollars (35,696 U.S. dollars) and created false records for the workers over a period of two years.
The authorities say the alleged underpayments equaled workers being paid rates equivalent of 10 Australian dollars (7 U.S. dollars) per hour, when they are entitled to 22 Australian dollars (16 U.S. dollars) per hour, and almost 30 Australian dollars (21 U. S. dollars) per hour on weekends.
The action follows a joint investigation by Fairfax Media and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), published on Saturday, which found up to two-thirds of 7-Eleven's Australian businesses could be underpaying workers.
The report also claimed some Australian franchisees were threatening to report international students to Australia's Department of Immigration unless they worked double shifts for less money.
The parent company of 7-Eleven issued a statement on Saturday saying it will take action against franchisees bending Australian law.
"7-Eleven is extremely disappointed that a number of franchisees have chosen not to meet their obligations as employers, " the statement said.
The U.S.-based operating arm of 7-Eleven was also forced to respond to the allegations.
"We are confident 7-Eleven Australia will take the appropriate steps to address this situation," the company posted to social media.