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Employer who paid worker with 91,500 oily pennies now owes $40k
Featured Image Credit: Fox News 13 / FOX 5 Atlanta

Employer who paid worker with 91,500 oily pennies now owes $40k

The shop owner was ordered to pay after a complaint to the US Labor Department

An auto repair shop owner has been ordered to fork out $40,000 to employees after he paid one worker with 91,500 oily pennies.

Payday is meant to be a day that briefly alleviates some of life's stresses, but for Andreas Flaten, the day he received his final $915 (£719) paycheck from A OK Walker Autoworks was definitely not stress-free.

Flaten filed a complaint with the US Labor Department after he left his job at the auto repair shop in November 2020, claiming that owner Miles Walker still owed him his final paycheck.

Andreas Flaten had to clean the pennies after they arrived.
CBS46 Atlanta

After filing the complaint, Walker responded by dumping the thousands of oil-covered pennies in Flaten's driveway, along with a pay stub contained in an envelope signed with the words "f**k you".

At the time, Flaten told Fox 13 News: "This is a childish thing to do."

Further investigations by the Labor Department then discovered that Walker's business in Peachtree City, Georgia had also violated overtime provisions of the federal Fair Standards and Labor Act.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Batten, who handed the case, determined Walker had paid Flaten and eight of his co-workers 'straight-time rates for all hours worked, including for hours over 40 in a workweek when an overtime rate-of-pay was legally required'.

As a result of Walker's actions, a federal judge last week signed a consent order which requires the shop owner to pay Flaten almost $8,700 (£6,830) more in owed overtime and damages.

Flaten isn't the only employee set to receive payments, as the eight others will also receive amounts between $14,640 (£11,480) and $513 (£400) over the course of the next year.

The pennies came with an expletive note.
CBS46 Atlanta

Walker now owes a total of $39,934 (£31,400) - or around 4 million cents, if you were wondering - including $19,967 (£15,720) in back wages and $19,697 in liquidated damages.

Commenting on the outcome, Tremelle Howard, the Labor Department's regional solicitor in Atlanta, said: “The court has sent a clear message to employers such as Miles Walker who subject employees to unfair wage practices and outright intimidation and retaliation."

Walker's attorney, Ryan Farmer, has said the conflict between Flaten and Walker didn't reflect the shop owner's 'true character as a businessman'.

In an email to ABC News, Farmer added: “Mr. Walker is like many other small business owners in America — he wakes up every day doing everything he can to put food on the table.

“Unfortunately, emotionally charged decisions can come back and bite you in the rear end.”

Topics: Money, US News