A Man Paid His Former Employee 90,000 Pennies. And the US Government Sued Him

Looks like he even skipped overtime pay.
Can Emir

The U.S. Department of Labor accused A OK Walker Autoworks and its owner Miles Walker over retaliation, overtime, and recordkeeping prohibitions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, in a complaint filed with a federal court in Georgia.

The lawsuit claims the auto-repair shop of bilking its workers out of overtime payments "repeatedly and willfully" even if one worked more than 40 hours in a week.

The Department of Labor is seeking $36,971 back in wages and liquidated damages after investigations.

It all started when Andreas Flaten didn't receive his final paycheck from a former employer last January. He complained about the situation and called up the US Department of Labor to lodge an accusation of wage theft. His former employer responded by leaving his debt of 915 dollars by dumping more than 91,000 pennies, which are oil and grease-covered, on his driveway in Fayetteville, Georgia, and published defamatory statements about Flaten on the company’s website, last January

“By law, worker engagement with the U.S. Department of Labor is protected activity. Workers are entitled to receive information about their rights in the workplace and obtain the wages they earned without fear of harassment or intimidation,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Steven Salazar in Atlanta. “Workers and employers should feel free to contact the Wage and Hour Division. In fact, all employers should review their employment practices and contact the division to discuss questions they have regarding their responsibilities under the law.”

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"I honestly didn't think anything would be done," Flaten, told Business Insider. He said he didn't expect much when he first argued his wages had been stolen, but now believes that this lawsuit should be a lesson to other workers who find themselves in a similar position.

"They definitely should not be scared to reach out," he encouraged workers, and added, "Speak up. Don't be quiet about it. Because if you're quiet about it, it's just going to continue to happen to you and everybody else."