- Last March, Andreas Flaten discovered extra than 91,000 pennies in his driveway.
- The alter was still left there by a previous employer mad about Flaten’s accusations of wage theft.
- The US Section of Labor is suing the organization, saying it failed to pay back time beyond regulation.
When Andreas Flaten did not get his remaining paycheck from a previous employer past January, he complained about it, contacting up the US Department of Labor to lodge an accusation of wage theft. That employer responded by leaving much more than 91,000 pennies on his driveway in Fayetteville, Georgia.
Now the US federal government is suing that organization, arguing the act constituted illegal retaliation.
In a complaint submitted with a federal courtroom in Georgia, the Section of Labor accuses A Okay Walker Autoworks and its proprietor, Miles Walker, of much more than just pettiness.
The lawsuit statements the automobile-restore store bilked its personnel out of money they had been owed. The lawsuit accuses the corporation of “consistently and willfully” failing to pay out time and a fifty percent for extra time, instead relying on a flat price of shell out regardless of no matter whether anyone worked additional than 40 hours in a 7 days.
A Okay Walker Autoworks did not respond to a information trying to find remark.
The March 2021 penny stunt — along with the complaint that preceded it — appears to have prompted investigators to take a closer look at the shop’s books.
“I actually failed to imagine everything would be completed,” Flaten, 27, claimed in a cellular phone interview with Insider. He failed to anticipate substantially when he initial argued his wages had been stolen. What’s happened because has restored some of his religion in govt, and he thinks it should be a lesson to other staff who come across by themselves in a similar place.
“They surely must not be fearful to arrive at out,” he said. “Speak up. Will not be peaceful about it. Since if you’re tranquil about it, it really is just heading to carry on to come about to you and everybody else.”
The saga started in January 2021, when Flaten referred to as the Department of Labor to say he was missing $915, for each the grievance. Before long after, on January 27, 2021, a representative from the department’s Wage and Hour Division called the enterprise to locate out what took place. The lawsuit states Flaten’s former employers were being defiant at very first, declaring they would not give him a penny.
It says that hours later, even so, Walker, the proprietor, decided he would pay just after all — a person cent at a time.
“How can you make this man notice what a disgusting instance of a human being he is,” the lawsuit prices Walker as expressing right before adding: “You know what? I have obtained a great deal of pennies I’ll use them.”
The courtroom documents say that “on top of the pile of pennies, Defendants left a duplicate of Mr. Flaten’s past paycheck with an expletive prepared on the exterior.”
The only issue of contention is how the pennies arrived to be coated in oil. The organization claims it did not do that Flaten says he nonetheless has a stain in his driveway.
The firm committed a website page on its website to the penny stunt, in which it pushes back again from “terminate tradition” — just after the incident went viral, the company’s on-line testimonials tanked — and urges viewers to “choose a stand towards the tyranny of an overbearing govt.” It also seems to complain about Flaten in a collection of inquiries.
Flaten said he was not far too bothered by any of that. As with an “angry toddler,” he explained, “you just got to sort of overlook it.”
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