The Employment Relations Authority has fined two south Auckland employers for paying a migrant worker $4 an hour.
It has found the linked pub and bottle shop owners breached several employment laws.
The companies have been ordered to pay a total of $42,000 in penalties and more than $45,000 in wage arrears.
The companies, both called Sharmas & Sons Limited, were non-compliant with employment law, failing to pay the minimum wage for the hours worked, not providing written employment agreements, and failing to keep accurate time and wage records.
The Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment said the penalty sent a strong message to employers who breached the law and employed vulnerable staff under the table.