Auto shop

Feds sues auto shop owner who paid ex-employee’s last check in 91,000 cents

Revenge is a dish best served in a wheelbarrow. In 91,000 under fatty and oily. No, wait – that’s not how it happens. For a Fayetteville, Georgia man, that’s exactly how it happened when his former employer left $910 in penny increments in a messy pile in his driveway. Andreas Flaten finally received the last paycheck he was supposedly owed, but in a form that was not only cumbersome but covered in some sort of oily substance.

Flaten filed a complaint with the Department of Labor last January, accusing A OK Walker Autoworks and his landlord Miles Walker to stiffen him up for his last paycheck before he quits. In what appears to be juvenile pettiness, Flaten got his money, okay, but not in the form of a paper check as is customary in professional circles.

According to New York Times and Associated Press, Walker said he “didn’t remember if he threw the pennies at Flaten’s.”

“He got paid, that’s all that matters,” Walker reportedly said.

TV channel KIRO 7 in Seattle confirmed that it is not illegal to pay an employee in coins covered in oil. The outlet obtained a quote from US Department of Labor spokesman Eric R. Lucero saying, “There is nothing in the regulations that dictates in what currency the employee must be paid.

However, it is illegal for a company to shirk its responsibility to pay overtime. IIn a lawsuit filed Dec. 30, the U.S. Department of Labor “repeatedly and voluntarily” failed to pay an hour and a half for overtime. Unlike its employee contracts, the store paid wage rates instead of hourly, handing out the same check even if more than 40 hours were logged.

Last I heard, Flaten was cleaning up the pennies and getting them ready to be cashed. I don’t know which side set the bridge on fire first, but it’s the one that will probably never be repaired. The old adage “all publicity is good publicity” does not apply here for this store.

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