A Georgia auto shop allegedly retaliated against a former employee by dumping over 100,000 pennies, and other assorted change, in the man’s driveway as payment. Now the government is suing the shop, as Business Insider reports.
The whole ordeal started in January 2021 at A Ok Walker Autoworks in Peachtree, GA. Andreas Flaten, an employee at the shop, never received his final paycheck of $915. In the suit it states the owner of the shop, Miles Walker, refused to pay Flaten’s last paycheck, and that’s how this story landed at the Department of Labor.
According to the suit it took hours for the Dept. of Labor to get through to Walker to actually pay Flaten. But the shop owner did eventually agree to pay the contested final paycheck, just in pennies.
From the suit:
…within hours of learning that Mr. Flaten had complained to WHD about not receiving his last paycheck, Defendants decided to pay Mr. Flaten in pennies. Defendant Walker stated “How can you make this guy realize what a disgusting example of a human being he is.... [Y]ou know what? I’ve got plenty of pennies; I’ll use them.”
The cherry of this move on Walker’s part, was placing Flaten’s paycheck atop the massive mound of change.
But Walker wasn’t done. He then posted this fun rant on the company’s website, talking about Flaten and describing him as a “subpar ex-employee.” The rant is exactly as you’d expect it to be: filled with things that will leave you at a loss for words like Walker laying out how the “payment” worked and claiming to know exactly how much change he gave Flaten:
#1 The U.S. Dept of labor approved his payment! We specifically asked if we could pay him in cash of any denomination. The U.S. Dept of labor stated on record that they did not care how he was paid, just pay him.
#2 There were no laws broken. Two law enforcement professionals were consulted before hand. As well as a civil attorney and a criminal attorney.
#3 There were exactly 100,003 pennies, 750 dimes, 2 quarters, a nickel, and his pay stub in the pile. That is a lot more than what we were legally obligated to give him. Why so much more? We figured that he would have had enough intelligence to just have the pennies counted and exchanged. The most expensive change processor we could find charged 10%. We wanted to make sure he got every penny he requested!
#7 Pennies are cash! They are federally backed United States currency and are good for all debts public or private. EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW THIS! If you need proof just ask Coin-star. Remember they bought them for profit!
Walker does get a little off-track in his rant, where he also clarifies a situation about a female coworker accusing him of pulling her pants down in retaliation for testifying against her mother in a divorce hearing. He believes the woman has “a bit of an axe to grind” and he’s now working with attorneys to potentially pursue litigation against her.
He closes speaking out against the media and thanks clients for seeing through the media’s “b.s.” It all reads as there’s way more going on inside this guy’s head than just being mad about an employee wanting his money.
Anyways, back to Flatten, who wasn’t even expecting to receive the payment. He’s relieved and says no one should be scared to speak up about money they are owed.
As for Walker, it’s not the first time his pettiness or cheap tendencies have gotten him in trouble, as the Department of Labor is also looking into Walker not paying overtime and relying strictly on flat-time pay even if someone worked more than 40 hours.