February 28, 2024

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Auto Store Accused Of Paying Ex-Worker In Oily Pennies Sued Via Feds

A Georgia auto restore store that went viral ultimate yr for allegedly giving a former worker his ultimate paycheck in 1000’s of oil-covered pennies, requiring just about seven hours of cleansing, is now being sued by way of the Division of Exertions.

A OK Walker Autoworks and its proprietor, Miles Walker, in Peachtree Town are accused of unlawfully retaliating in opposition to Andreas Flaten with the greasy penny cost and of publishing defamatory feedback about him on-line after Flaten contacted the dept early ultimate yr about no longer receiving his ultimate paycheck.

The trade, situated southwest of Atlanta, is additional accused within the lawsuit filed Dec. 30 of failing to pay its workers extra time since no less than April 5, 2019, and of failing to stay good enough and correct data of workers’ pay charges and paintings hours, as required by way of regulation.

Flaten, in an electronic mail to HuffPost on Tuesday, described himself as “pleasantly shocked” by way of the Exertions Division’s submitting.

“In the beginning I didn’t assume I might ever see my ultimate pay. Then the oily pennies have been dumped and truthfully idea he would be capable to pull a stunt like that and escape with that,” he stated. “So I’m very happy to peer the DOL stepped up as a result of nobody merits to be handled like that, particularly after they have been leaving to raised themselves and attempted to depart the precise method.”

Flaten contacted the Exertions Division on Jan. 26 of ultimate yr to record the trade withholding his ultimate paycheck after he surrender in November. A consultant with the dept’s Salary and Hour Department contacted the car restore store in regards to the lacking paycheck and used to be informed that Flaten would no longer obtain it, in line with the lawsuit.

Walker in a while after had a metamorphosis of center, then again, and determined to pay Flaten what he used to be owed — however in pennies, the swimsuit claims.

“How are you able to make this man understand what a disgusting instance of a human being he’s … [Y]ou know what? I’ve were given quite a lot of pennies; I’ll use them,” Walker is quoted within the lawsuit as announcing.

Just about two months after Flaten contacted government, Walker dumped roughly 91,500 pennies on Flaten’s driveway on March 12 along side a replica of his paystub and “an expletive written at the out of doors,” the lawsuit states.

The dept stated it took just about seven hours to scrub the pennies, which have been coated in oil and stained his driveway.

“Staff are entitled to obtain details about their rights within the place of business and acquire the wages they earned with out worry of harassment or intimidation.”

– DOL Salary and Hour Department District Director Steven Salazar in Atlanta

The car store defended its movements in a observation posted to its site and stated that “nobody hired” by way of the store put oil at the pennies, happening to indicate that the previous worker did that himself “to make this extra explosive.”

“Sadly, by way of regulation, we can’t divulge his quick comings. Allow us to simply say that perhaps he stole? Possibly he killed a canine? Possibly he killed a cat? Possibly he used to be lazy? Possibly he used to be a butcher? Possibly he preferred self-gratifying himself in purchasers’ vehicles?” the put up, which used to be not too long ago got rid of from the store’s site, mentioned of the previous worker.

The put up went directly to insist that its movements weren’t a “large deal” because the former worker used to be in the end paid in money. It blamed “the lame-stream media” for amplifying the tale and advised other folks as a substitute center of attention their consideration on taking “a stand in opposition to the tyranny of an overbearing executive.”

The car store didn’t straight away reply to HuffPost’s request for remark Tuesday.

Flaten informed HuffPost that he has no longer had touch with the car store because the incident and want to stay it that method. He stated he has without delay heard from different former workers who’ve alleged equivalent poisonous abuse whilst operating on the store, together with claims of withheld ultimate paychecks. He inspired different staff, irrespective of their position of employment, to achieve out to the Exertions Division if they’ve considerations about their pay and remedy.

“They actually do lend a hand and there are rules which can be in position to give protection to you in circumstances like this,” he stated.

Steven Salazar, district director of the DOL’s Salary and Hour Department in Atlanta, additionally inspired staff to achieve out if they’ve considerations.

“Via regulation, employee engagement with the U.S. Division of Exertions is secure job,” he stated in a observation. “Staff are entitled to obtain details about their rights within the place of business and acquire the wages they earned with out worry of harassment or intimidation.”