Two bosses at the Auckland Indian restaurant chain Masala have today been sentenced for exploiting their workers.
Joti Jain was sentenced to 11 months' home detention and 220 hours' community work after last month pleading guilty to 15 immigration and exploitation charges.
The 42-year-oId was stood down as director of the company after an investigation by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Rajwinder Singh Grewal, 37, who had admitted five charges, was sentenced to four-and-a-half months' home detention.
Jain paid $56,719 in reparations to the court today and was ordered to pay a further $925 within the next seven days, while Grewal, manager of the Bucklands Beach branch of the restaurant, was ordered to pay $4781 in reparations at a rate of $20 a week from October 20.
Workers at the chain were paid as little as $2 an hour with Judge Anne Kiernan today reading a victim impact statement from employee Gangandeep Singh who said that "working at Masala made his life hell, and he was overworked, underpaid and subject to abuse".
Another worker, Bimal Prasad, said he "suffered emotional harm and financial stress" as a result of working for the chain.
Judge Kiernan said the offending was sophisticated, premeditated and was done for obvious commercial gain.