Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMPLETE

Media coverage related to the Church of Scientology.

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Don Carlo
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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *UPDA

Post by Don Carlo » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:22 pm

Thanks for keeping us informed, Sponge. And thanks, TinyDancer, for tracking Australian corporation filings and telling us how CoS is muddying the waters.

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *UPDA

Post by Sponge » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:56 pm

Church of Scientology dismisses unfair pay claims
ABC PM (Radio) 14th Sept 2011
[Audio + transcript] http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2011/s3317822.htm
MARK COLVIN: The Church of Scientology says it's hurt and upset by the leaking of a draft report critical of its practices.

The draft report by the Fair Work Ombudsman finds that the Church wrongly classifies as volunteers, people who are effectively employees.

Former members of the Church of Scientology have also alleged that they were kept against their will and subjected to other human rights abuses.

A Church spokeswoman has told PM that the allegations are baseless, and the Church's operations are being misunderstood and misrepresented.

Barbara Miller reports.

BARBARA MILLER: It was an ABC Four Corners report that prompted the Fair Work Ombudsman to begin in March last year an investigation into the Church of Scientology.

Eight witnesses, whose details were supplied by Senator Nick Xenophon, were interviewed and documentary evidence was analysed.

The Church of Scientology Australia co-operated.

But a subsidiary, in Leichhardt Sydney, did not.

Last night the ABC's Lateline program aired details of the draft report of the Fair Work Ombudsman.

It finds.

FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN DRAFT REPORT (voiceover): What is evident from the investigation is that the contention that all workers are volunteers or voluntary workers is improbable. Plainly, neither the duties, or purpose of work, or the nature of the arrangements allow that possibility as a generalisation by the Church.

BARBARA MILLER: The Church of Scientology says it's disgraceful the draft report was leaked. And stresses that the Fair Work Ombudsman has stated that the final report, due later this week, is likely to differ substantially from the draft.

Virginia Stewart is a Church spokeswoman:

VIRGINIA STEWART: We feel that they've been leaked as part of a campaign that has been ongoing from several former members who have some upset that they would like to take out on us and we feel that it's not fair or balanced or that we've been given an opportunity to, sort of, defend ourselves really.

BARBARA MILLER: Virginia Stewart says she's one of 300 Australians who have signed an agreement devoting their entire life to the Church.

VIRGINIA STEWART: They're similar to like a priest or a nun, or a person who's devoted their life to their religion. It's actually a religious calling.

BARBARA MILLER: Is it fair that an organisation with a turnover of $18 million does not pay people?

VIRGINIA STEWART: But see that's where it's incorrect. All of my accommodation, my food, my medical, my transport; all of those support services that enable me to give my time to the church are completely covered. And also we do receive a small allowance, which is for us to go to the movies, get our hair done, these sorts of things.

BARBARA MILLER: How much is the allowance?

VIRGINIA STEWART: It varies. So, guess it depends on how well...

BARBARA MILLER: How much do you get?

VIRGINIA STEWART: Between $70 or $150.

BARBARA MILLER: Is that a week?

VIRGINIA STEWART: Yes. So if you take the average person, they might not even have that money left after they had paid all of their living expenses.

BARBARA MILLER: Virginia Stewart denies allegations made by former members that it's extremely difficult to leave the Church of Scientology.

VIRGINIA STEWART: You know, it truly is not. It's absolutely fine.

BARBARA MILLER: The Church says the former members are misrepresenting the circumstances.

VIRGINIA STEWART: What they're saying now was not what they were saying when they even initially left the Church. For some reason , and there's not very many of them, they've decided to rewrite, sort of, the history as it were as to what actually went on when they were in the Church.

BARBARA MILLER: Some former members also alleged that they were held against their will, subjected to forced medical procedures and other human rights abuses. The Fair Work Ombudsman says these claims will be referred on to the relevant Commonwealth and state authorities.

MARK COLVIN: Barbara Miller.
Church of Scientology denies enslavement allegations
ABC Lateline 13th Sept 2011
[Video + transcript] http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/ ... 318005.htm
Official youtube version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSaoiY3wZms
(this short report mainly refers to the main ABC news report, where you'll find more details: viewtopic.php?p=407611#p407611 )



Other web media:
Church of Scientology under investigation over alleged breaches of Australian slavery laws
The God Discussion 14th Sept 2011
http://www.goddiscussion.com/78747/chur ... very-laws/

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *UPDA

Post by Sponge » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:05 pm

Church of Scientology faces criminal charges for underpaying workers
The Church of Scientology in Australia could face criminal charges and be forced to surrender millions of dollars
in back pay after an investigation found it may have broken the law by severely underpaying workers.

(UK) Telegraph 14th Sept 2011
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... rkers.html
Allegations of mistreatment and exploitation by the organisation aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Lateline programme last year prompted the Fair Work Ombudsman to investigate how the church treated its members.

In the draft copy of the ombudsman's report, which is due out later this week in full, people working for the church tabled allegations of false imprisonment and forced labour.

In some cases, members in the church's elite Sea Org unit, described as the Church's "religious order", said they were made to work for up to seven days for just $10 (£6.50), despite the Church earning millions.

It is not the first time the Church has been accused of treating its members like slaves. In the last few years, Scientologists in America have brought lawsuits against the organisation claiming they were forced to work 20 hours a day without a break for minuscule salaries.

The ombudsman's draft report found that practices described by the church's Australian members may be in breach of criminal laws.

"The Fair Work ombudsman will refer the witnesses' allegations to the relevant authority for further investigation," the draft report said.

The church argued that their religious work was done by volunteers, but the draft report found the organisation had "incorrectly classified as volunteers or voluntary workers people who are entitled to be classified as employees," which means that many current and former workers could be owed large amounts of back pay.

In a statement, the church said the release of the draft report "quite unfair, outrageous and highly unethical."

"The Church completely rejects these claims made by a handful of embittered former members," it said.

But it is not the first time the workings of the highly-secretive organisation have come under scrutiny in Australia.

In 2009, a South Australian senator tabled allegations against the organisation including forced abortions, assault, torture, imprisonment, covering up sexual abuse, embezzlement of church funds and blackmail.

Earlier this year, a senior member of the Church of Scientology was charged with perverting the course of justice.

It was alleged that Jan Eastgate threatened and intimidated an 11-year-old girl into providing false statements to police. She faces 14 years in prison if convicted.
Nice to have some mainstream UK media. I like they way they also cover forced abortions, assault, torture, imprisonment, covering up sexual abuse, embezzlement of church funds and blackmail as well Jan Eastgate abuse cover-up case and the US lawsuits.

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *UPDA

Post by Don Carlo » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:09 pm

IS ROOM AND BOARD PART OF PAY? NOT ACCORDING TO COS.

CoS claims its Sea Org workers get room, board, but not "as compensation."

from Staff Contract:
FURNISHING OF NECESSARIES. Church staff members serve pursuant to their religious commitment and conviction rather than for monetary gain or other traditional commercial or financial motives or incentives. Nevertheless, the Church will, pursuant to this covenant, furnish certain necessaries, including a weekly nominal "pocket money" allowance, and, for certain staff positions, room and board. The furnishing of these necessary items is not intended to be and is not compensation for services performed by the applicant, but rather it provides an opportunity for the Church to establish an appropriate environment within which religious and spiritual awareness may receive the greatest prospect for enhancement and in which such matters constitute the sole reward for services. The amount of weekly allowance may vary depending upon economic conditions generally prevailing within the Church.
from http://www.researchthetruth.com/cosdocs-staff.pdf

This is a highly revealing paragraph. The reason the room, board, and classes are not considered compensation is that CoS would have to declare them as income in the US, and would have to pay its share of Social Security taxes on these items, which are considered "in-kind" in tax lingo. Furthermore, once these items showed up on the worker's paycheck the worker would have to pay the worker's share of Social Security on the in-kind items. With a pittance for wages, the worker would be even more impoverished by having Social Security taxes deducted on room board, and courses!

(The above relates to US labor laws which likely are similar to Australia's)
Last edited by Don Carlo on Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *UPDA

Post by Sponge » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:20 am

Happy Days, posting on ESMB, wrote:Media Alert: Slater & Gordon Investigates Class Action over Scientology Wages Claim

I have been working with Slater & Gordon along with Nettie and James and this media release has just been fired nationally. All before Thursday 2 and now bring it on

Just to add that there were other players as well including Cherished, Feral, Deano and others who provided valuable information throughout this process.... thanks to all ...
Source, ESMB: http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.p ... ages-Claim
Others:
whyweprotest.net http://forums.whyweprotest.net/threads/ ... aim.93713/
OCMB Opinions & Debate section: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=38528

Image

Plaintext copy:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


September 15, 2011
Slater & Gordon investigates class action over Scientology wages claims

National law firm Slater & Gordon is investigating a possible class action against the Church of Scientology over claims the organisation has for many years underpaid its workers.

Steven Lewis, practice group leader commercial litigation, said the firm had spent the past year investigating the organisation after receiving complaints from several former Scientology members.

“We have come to the view that former Scientology members were in fact employees and there has been a policy not to pay them proper wages and entitlements,” Mr Lewis said.

“This could mean they are entitled to back pay, superannuation contributions, holiday pay and overtime.

“We are now at the point where we are calling on former members who worked with the organisation since 2005 to contact us on a confidential basis to discuss possible claims against the organisation.”

Mr Lewis said he was currently unable to estimate the size of a claim against the organisation or the possible number of claimants.

“What we have been told by former members is that for years the organisation exploited many of its workers by calling them volunteers despite being required to perform a range of work for little or no pay.

“Scientology is no different to any other employer in this country, it is obliged to pay wages and other entitlements under the law and the relevant award.

“This isn’t about attacking beliefs, it is about being paid a fair wage for a fair day’s work,” Mr Lewis said.



Further details Steven Lewis 02 8267 0626
Media Contact Michael Salmon 0417 495 018



Established 76 years ago, Slater & Gordon has built a powerful reputation as a law firm which fights for the best outcomes for everyday Australians. Today Slater & Gordon offers its broad range of legal services at more locations than any other law firm in the country, delivering affordable legal advice and justice to more Australians.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Other useful remarks from that ESMB forum thread:
Outethicsofficer, poasting on ESMB, wrote:Re: Media Alert: Slater & gordon Investigates Class Action over Scientology Wages Cla
A lot of work has gone into this over these many months this, and this rolled out of the Four Corners program which was aired in March of 2010.

We were contacted by Slater and Gordon, they wanted to know more with a view toward what could be done, the direction was not set in the early stages however it was starting to get a compass bearing and in the end the needle sat firmly on North, that being Slater and Gordon would act on behalf former staff member in a Class Action to Claim Wages. It is their contention that the C of S is no different to any other employer in Australia.


Hats off to Happy Days, she has been a major point of communication for Slater and Gordon. Without her assistance they would've had a much harder job of this.

James

Edit: Contact the phone numbers in the OP for more details and register your interest in this action all calls are strictly in confidence.

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *UPDA

Post by Sponge » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:58 am

aca just aired a segment on the class action lawsuit. It was a very short segment.

Scientology fair work scandal
aca 9 News. Air date 15th Sept 2011
http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/investigation ... rk-scandal
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCusCcarab4 [Thanks to Zhent]

The Church of Scientology is already under scrutiny for claims of under-paid work by 'volunteers', but now a legal firm is launching a class action for all such workers that could put the controversial church under siege.

Response from the Church of Scientology:

"We will not be commenting on a possible legal action being launched against the Church of Scientology.
In relation to the current inquiry before the Fair Work Ombudsman:
All religious work for the Church of Scientology is done by volunteers in religious service helping others. Engaging in community work such drug education; literacy and numeracy programs; pastoral care; human rights promotion and disaster relief are also manifestations of our religious beliefs. These volunteers also work regular jobs and donate their time to the Church for no other purpose than helping others.
The Church fully supports its core religious order and pays all accommodation, food, transport and medical costs of its clergy whilst providing a small stipend weekly for personal items. This is in keeping with the practices concerning clergy of the other major faiths.
Tens of thousands of charities and religions in Australia rely upon the generosity of their volunteers who give their time to help others, be that of a secular or religious nature. The Church of Scientology was declared a bona fide religion by the High Court of Australia in 1983."

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *UPDA

Post by Sponge » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:19 pm

Church of Scientology faces class action
ABC News 14th Sept 2011
http://abcasiapacific.com/news/2011-09- ... on/2901468 (Includes Video)
Youtube version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piqhVl8seM4 [thanks to zhent]
The Church of Scientology is facing a class action over claims it underpaid former workers.

On Tuesday night, ABC1's Lateline revealed that a draft report by the Fair Work Ombudsman had found the church had wrongly classified employees as volunteers.

Law firm Slater and Gordon has also been looking into the claims and says under the Fair Work Act, those employees and ex-employees are owed large sums of money in wages, holiday pay, overtime and superannuation.

Slater and Gordon commercial litigation lawyer Steven Lewis says the firm has been investigating evidence from some of the church's former workers.

"We have undertaken an investigation into that and we've come to the conclusion that indeed they were employees and they're entitled to be paid wages, back wages and other entitlements including superannuation under the Fair Work Act," he said.

Only those who worked for the Church of Scientology in the last six years are eligible to participate in any class action due to the statute of limitations.

Mr Lewis says evidence that some workers were getting as little as $10 a week means back-pay claims could be substantial.

"Potentially it could be for very large sums of money," he said.

"In addition, the court has the authority under the Fair Work Act to impose a civil penalty in respect of each breach of the Act."

[...continued in article link....]
Class action planned against Scientology
ABC Lateline 15th Sept 2011
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/ ... 318961.htm
(same video as in previous article but with full transcript).

Notice that the lawyer has the "command chart" of scientology in front of him on his desk. :)

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *UPDA

Post by Sponge » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:13 pm

Church of Scientology upset by leaked report
ABC News 14th Sept 2011
http://abcasiapacific.com/news/2011-09- ... rt/2899388
(an ABC News report summary about the previous PM programme and more)
[...]

Eight witnesses, whose details were supplied by Senator Nick Xenophon, were interviewed and documentary evidence was analysed.

The Church of Scientology Australia cooperated, but a subsidiary in Leichhardt in Sydney did not.

[...]
Interesting. But what does it mean?
Update: The Leichhardt mission didn't agree to attend interviews.

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *UPDA

Post by Sponge » Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:44 am

Interview with Senator Xenophon....

Scientology Volunteers fight Back
Yahoo/7 News. Sunrise. 16th Sept 2011
Video: http://au.tv.yahoo.com/sunrise/video/-/ ... ight-back/


Class action to be launched against Church of Scientology
ABC AM 16th Sept 2011
audio stream + transcript: http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2011/s3318990.htm
TONY EASTLEY: A class action is to be launched against the Church of Scientology after a leaked draft report by the Fair Work Ombudsman earlier this week raised claims of false imprisonment and forced labour.

It's understood the Ombudsman's final report into the Church of Scientology will be released to the complainants and to the church sometime today.

A new complainant has told AM when she was in the church she was expected to work thirteen hours a day, seven days a week.

Sarah Dingle reports.

SARAH DINGLE: Lisa O'Kane joined the Church of Scientology in 1999, after reading a book about Dianetics, a form of Scientology counselling.

In 2002 she says she signed a five year contract as an "auditor" or counsellor with the church.

LISA O'KANE: I was supposed to be on a Monday to Friday schedule from nine o'clock in the morning to six o'clock at night. Sometimes, you know, for maybe six months I might do just Monday to Friday, but then for three months I might be there seven days a week from 9am until 10pm.

I just can't even describe how horrible and hard it was and you just, you could not get out of it.

You couldn't take a day off. It just wouldn't be approved and if you did or you were sick, you would get constantly hounded.

SARAH DINGLE: You received a group certificate at the end of each financial year for that period 02 to 07/08. How much were you getting paid a year?

LISA O'KANE: Well, very small amounts. For the financial year ending 2002, I was paid $1,791 for the year; 2003 I was paid $2,759 for the year; and then in 2008 I was paid $1,411 for the year.

SARAH DINGLE: The Fair Work Ombudsman is currently investigating claims of false imprisonment and forced labour against the Church of Scientology.

Earlier this week a draft of the Ombudsman's report, leaked to Lateline, found it was likely that the church had incorrectly classed employees as volunteers.

The final report is expected to be released today.

But now Steven Lewis from the law firm Slater and Gordon says they've conducted their own investigations and will be launching a class action on behalf of church workers, going back six years.

STEVEN LEWIS: The former employees will be entitled to a number of entitlements. The first one would be back pay - or non-pay - that they haven't received. Secondly they would be entitled to holiday pay. Thirdly, they'd be entitled to superannuation, and in some instances they may even be entitled to overtime.

SARAH DINGLE: The Church of Scientology told the ABC all religious work is done by volunteers and that it completely rejects claims made by embittered former members.

TONY EASTLEY: And that is Sarah Dingle reporting.
Is Lisa O'Kane and Lise O'Kane the same or not the same person? I ask because Lise O'Kane was involved in the handling of the Edward McBride suicide (she delt directly with McBride as his auditor). Then she blew the cult, but went straight to Maaahty's blog, wrote some moonbatty KR on DM and then disappeared right when the coroner on the McBride case could have really done with some help in getting to the bottom of it (because the cult were no help by removing the PC folders and sending them to the USA).
Tiny Dancer, posting on WWP wrote:I suspect it is Lise O'Kane.
http://forums.whyweprotest.net/threads/ ... st-1886039

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *UPDA

Post by Sponge » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:35 am

Media release as quoted below: http://www.fairwork.gov.au/media-centre ... ology.aspx
Direct link to Findings (PDF 4mb. 88 pages): http://www.fairwork.gov.au/Documents/St ... urally.pdf
Actually it's 37 pages and the rest are scientology documents attached to the report.
Media release

16 September 2011

Fair Work Ombudsman releases findings of investigation into Church of Scientology

The Fair Work Ombudsman today released the findings of a lengthy investigation into allegations levelled publicly at the Church of Scientology (CoS) over its employment practices.

The Agency initiated an investigation into the CoS on March 9, 2010, following claims raised the previous night by the ABC’s Four Corners program.

Further allegations about CoS workplace practices were made in the Senate on March 18, 2010, after which the names and contact details of a number of witnesses were provided confidentially to the Fair Work Ombudsman to assist the Agency with its inquiries.

The investigation considered whether the CoS is bound to apply minimum working conditions stemming from the Fair Work Act, awards or agreements and if it is required to keep certain time and wage records.

It also considered whether those people working for the church are employees and whether they have been receiving the benefits to which they are entitled under the Fair Work Act, awards or agreements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson today released a Statement of Findings following consideration of feedback from the parties involved, who were previously provided with a draft report for comment.

The Agency has determined:
  • To treat CoS entities which engage in trading activities as constitutional corporations for the purposes of the Fair Work Act and its predecessor legislation,
  • That a number of allegations raised by some witnesses fall outside the statutory time limit for consideration or cannot be sustained and are therefore unable to be pursued,
  • To continue to investigate allegations raised by one witness which relates to an entity known as Get off Drugs Naturally,
  • To refer to other relevant authorities allegations made against the CoS which fall outside its jurisdiction, and
  • To request that the CoS and its related entities conduct a comprehensive self-audit to ensure compliance with the Fair Work Act – and if employees are found to have been underpaid, for those underpayments to be rectified.
  • The report says it would be prudent for the CoS to proactively undertake the self-audit at the earliest opportunity using a consultant that the Fair Work Ombudsman approves and who has no connection to the church.
It requests the consultant be briefed to:
  • Review the procedures for the engagement of workers and to properly determine the applicable Modern Award and National Employment Standards for each individual,
  • Review the status of existing employees to ensure they are receiving their lawful entitlements,
  • Recommend the introduction of changes to record-keeping and issuing of play[sic] slips and the Fair Work Information Statement to ensure compliance with the Fair Work Act, and
  • Recommend a framework to the Church which enables the identification of relevant legislation relating to all employee entitlements, such as long service leave.
  • The Statement of Findings says the Fair Work Ombudsman considered, but was not persuaded, by submissions from the CoS that the Fair Work Act did not apply because the church “is a religious entity ... and there isn’t any worker relationship or employer relationship”.
The Statement says documents and policies examined by Fair Work inspectors during the course of their investigation “plainly contradicted” this assertion.

The CoS described payments to church workers as being “a small amount to enable them to perform their duties by covering the cost of travel, babysitters, food and other expenses ... not a reward for services rendered”.

However, the investigation found several features of the arrangements within the CoS entities were not consistent with volunteer or voluntary work.

“In particular, witness evidence indicates that significant hours of work were imposed on workers. Further evidence indicates a significant level of control and direction was applied to workers by more senior church members who held positions of authority,” the Statement of Findings says.

The Statement says documents provided by the CoS indicate it is a “bureaucratised organisation” which appears to have imported practices and procedures into Australia with little thought to workplace relations laws.

Witnesses told the Fair Work Ombudsman they were directed to work up to 72 hours without a break to complete tasks assigned to them for as little as $10 a week at a time when the Federal Minimum Wage for a full-time adult before shift and weekend penalties was $543.78 for a 38-hour week.

The Statement of Findings says the complaints that have been investigated, and the receipt of further complaints, is indicative of systemic problems relating to the way labour has been obtained by the CoS and which has caused these arrangements to be the subject of external criticism.

"At the very least, the volume of complaints should alert the CoS that there needs to be a change to the current practices relating to how they recruited and are receiving free labour from their followers, should they hope to reduce the number of complaints into the future,” the Statement says.

“Equally, the Fair Work Ombudsman offers advice to persons giving their labour for free to any religious organisation that they should be mindful of their intentions in doing so and to the extent possible, protect their own interests and immediately withdraw their labour if they perceive that their relationship ceases to be truly voluntary.

“In many instances, the witnesses provided considerable free labour to the CoS over a period of several years where they either knew or ought to have known that they were unlikely to be paid for that work from an early stage.

“Some claimed the use of unconscionable tactics by the CoS designed to retain their commitment. The Fair Work Ombudsman makes no findings in respect of those allegations, but advises that if workers providing services to religious or any other organisation consider that they are being subjected to intimidation or other illegal pressure to continue to provide their labour, they should contact police.”

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says his Office will continue to investigate future complaints against the CoS on their merits and may, if required, exercise its powers to attend work sites and observe the duties of employees. Other powers available to his Office may also be considered where the circumstances warrant. These include the use of powers to require documents, the issuing of formal compliance or infringement notices and the consideration of litigation.

Statement of Findings: Church of Scientology, Narconon, and Get off Drugs Naturally (pdf 4MB)

Media inquiries:

Craig Bildstien, Director, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0419 818 484

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *UPDA

Post by operatingwog » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:44 am

Wow. Wog law tech works and it helps people.
“These guys are crazy. And all of this shit is straight out of the L. Ron Hubbard playbook. That’s their scriptures. They say they’re not a turn-the-other-cheek religion. No. They’re a knock-you-down-and-kick-you-in-the-balls religion.” Jason Beghe

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by anondelmundial » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:00 am

Recommend the introduction of changes to record-keeping and issuing of pay slips and the Fair Work Information Statement to ensure compliance with the Fair Work Act, ...

"play" slips makes no sense.

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by Sponge » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:42 am

anondelmundial wrote:Recommend the introduction of changes to record-keeping and issuing of pay slips and the Fair Work Information Statement to ensure compliance with the Fair Work Act, ...

"play" slips makes no sense.
Unless they mean getting paid by the CoS is like a lottery, LOL.
That's what they typo'd in their release so I've added "[sic]".

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by Sponge » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:44 am

Scientologists asked to review workers' pay
ABC 15th Sept 2011
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-16/c ... =newcastle
The Church of Scientology says it will take on board the recommendations of the Fair Work Ombudsman after it found the church needs to ensure it is complying with the Fair Work Act.

The Ombudsman has also requested the church make sure it is paying its workers properly.

Some former church members have begun a class action over claims the church had paid them as little as $10 a week for long hours of full-time work.

At issue is whether they were volunteers or workers who are owed wages, holiday pay, overtime and superannuation.

The church insists they were volunteers.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has asked the church to do its own audit to ensure compliance with the Fair Work Act and to rectify any underpayments.

Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson said he was not persuaded that because the church is a religious entity the Fair Work Act did not apply.

Mr Wilson said documents examined by inspectors clearly contradicted that claim.

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by Sponge » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:05 am

Having a quick browse of the FWO Findings, one of the things that might cause concern [as has been expressed by some] is those witnesses who did fit within the time period but who's complaint was still not upheld. For example, I'll refer to witness 7 in the report. There is a distinct lack of details in the FWO's thinking as to how they arrived at this conclusion. They just say that they considered the work voluntary in nature after just describing all the features of what voluntary work is NOT about (such as not having control over working hours). I don't understand that.

If this is going to be the standard level of attention to individuals then people might wonder how many others like this are going to lose out. Also, I don't think the FWO quite get what it is like in the cult in terms of the level of control. This comes out again when FWO implies that people shown have known better, which is clearly ludicrous. I think this is perhaps why there is a need for a class action lawsuit.
As has been pointed out, there can't be zero employees and they can't all be volunteers. The report makes that much certain but it is a question of how high they are going to set the bar for what constitutes an employee. The independent auditor has their work cut out.

Don't listen to me though. I'm just riffing some initial thoughts from a quick glance at what might chap one's ass but I could be grabbing the wrong end of the stick on those things.
I still think this is going to be pretty devastating for the cult.

brb reading moar.

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