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US Dept of Labor sues company that dumped 91,500 pennies onto ex-employee’s driveway as final payment

US Dept of Labor sues company that dumped 91,500 pennies onto ex-employee's driveway as final payment
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Remember in March when Andreas Flatten—a former employee of A OK Walker Autoworks in Peachtree City, Georgia—discovered his last wages dumped on his driveway in the form of 91,500 oil pennies and a note saying “F***You”? Now, the US Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against A OK owner Miles Walker. The lawsuit asserts that Flatten called the Department of Labor to report that he had not received his last paycheck and that Walker had retaliated. From the New York Times:

As the cash pile attracts extensive news coverage, Mr. Walker posted a message on the store’s website.

“What began as an official of a sub-standard ex-employee certainly got a lot of press,” the letter read, according to the lawsuit. “Let’s just say he probably stole? Maybe he killed a dog? Maybe he killed a cat? Maybe he was lazy? Maybe he was a butcher?”

In a statement, the Department of Labor called the letter “defamatory” and said Mr. Walker retaliated against Mr. Flatten in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“By law, workers’ interactions with the U.S. Department of Labor is a protected activity,” Stephen Salazar, regional director of the department’s wages and hours division in Atlanta, said in a statement. “Workers have the right to receive information about their rights in the workplace and to be paid without fear of harassment or intimidation.”

The lawsuit, which also accuses Walker and his shop of failing to pay legally required overtime rates and failing to keep adequate and accurate records of employee pay rates and hours worked, seeks $36,971 in back wages and compensation for at least eight employees in addition to Mr. Flatten.

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