Federal government sues ex-boss for paying GA employee in penny gras

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A Georgian waiting for a final paycheck from his old job says his money arrived in the form of 90,000 fat cents deposited in his driveway.

Screenshot of WGCL-TV

An owner of an auto repair shop in Georgia accused of dumping more than 90,000 cents of oil in the driveway of a former workman in connection with a wage dispute last year is being sued for arrears of salary, according to the US Department of Labor.

A federal complaint filed by the agency on December 30 accuses A OK Walker Autoworks owner Miles Walker of retaliating against the employee, who complained to the DOL when Walker gave him the ride and refused to pay him after leaving the Peachtree City auto store.

The department is seeking nearly $ 37,000 in back wages and damages from Walker after federal investigators said he violated overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, authorities said in a January 5 press release.

According to the release.

The lawsuit, filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, comes months after Andreas Flaten contacted the department after struggling to get his last salary from Walker. Flaten resigned in November 2020 but did not get the $ 915 he was owed until almost four months later.

His latest paycheck arrived in the form of about 91,500 grease-covered pennies deposited at the end of his driveway with a nasty note on top, McClatchy News reported. The load was so heavy that Flaten and his girlfriend were forced to shovel the parts into a wheelbarrow and roll them into the garage.

Andreas Flaten.jpg
Georgian Andreas Flaten can now cash more than 90,000 cents fat deposited in his driveway by his former boss last month. Images courtesy of Coinstar

“It’s going to take hours and hours… to clean up that money so that it can even be spent,” he told WAGA at the time. “I think it’s going to be a lot of work for the money I’ve already worked for.”

Flaten suspected Walker was behind the ruse and called it a “childish thing to do.”

Walker received a subpoena on Jan.3, according to online archives. It is not known whether he retained the services of a lawyer.

Authorities said they hoped the complaint would deter Walker from retaliation and overtime violations in the future.

“Legally, engaging workers with the US Department of Labor is a protected activity,” Steven Salazar, district manager of the Atlanta Wages and Hours division, said in a statement. “Workers have the right to receive information about their rights in the workplace and to obtain the wages they have earned without fear of harassment or intimidation. “

This story was originally published 5 January 2022 6:00 p.m.

Tanasia is an Atlanta-based national real-time reporter covering news from Georgia, Mississippi, and the Southeastern United States. She is an alumnus of Kennesaw State University and joined McClatchy in 2020.

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