Department of Labor suing auto repair shop that paid ex-employee in pennies
The Department of Labor (DOL) filed a lawsuit against a Georgia auto repair shop after it made national headlines for paying a former employee his final check in pennies.
The lawsuit accuses A OK Walker Autoworks owner Miles Walker of discriminating against Andreas Flaten after he reported the establishment to DOL when he did not receive his last paycheck, according to NBC News.
“Within hours of learning that Mr. Flaten had complained to [the Wage and Hour Division] about not receiving his last paycheck, defendants decided to pay Mr. Flaten in pennies,” the lawsuit states.
Flaten reported finding 91,500 pennies in his driveway last March with a copy of his paycheck “with an expletive written on the outside,” the news outlet noted.
A OK Walker Autoworks has also reportedly failed to pay its employees overtime since April 2019, according to DOL’s findings.
The business failed “to make, keep and preserve adequate and accurate records of the persons employed and of the wages, hours and other conditions and practices of employment maintained by them,” the department stated, according to NBC News.
A OK Walker Autoworks’s website added a page titled “Pennies” after it received national attention last year. The page has since been removed.
“Ahh, the pennies. What started out as a gotcha to a subpar ex-employee, sure got a lot of press,” the page said.
“Unfortunately, by law, we cannot disclose his shortcomings,” it continued. “Let us just say that maybe he stole? Maybe he killed a dog? Maybe he killed a cat? Maybe he was lazy? Maybe he was a butcher? Maybe he liked self-gratifying himself in clients’ cars? Whatever you want to think is your prerogative. But know that no one would go to the trouble we did to make a point without being motivated. And honestly what is the big deal? He got paid! In cash!”
The page later adds: “Pennies are cash! They are federally backed United States currency and are good for all debts public or private.”
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