Man who paid former employee in oily pennies ordered to pay nearly $40K
PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A man who paid a former employee’s final paycheck in oily pennies has been ordered the pay the man and eight other former employees over $39,000.
A consent judgment against Miles Walker and A OK Luxury Autoworks ordered the company to pay former employee Andreas Flaten and several other employees $19,967.09 in back wages as well as the same amount in “liquidated damages.” The total sum is $39,934.18.
“I’m happy that justice was served. I firmly believe in karma now,” said Flaten, in an interview with Atlanta News First on Monday.
Walker paid Flaten’s final paycheck in nearly $1,000 in oily pennies in May 2021. In an interview with Atlanta News First at the time, Walker said “It doesn’t matter. He got paid, that’s all that matters. He’s a f*****g weenie for even bringing it up.”
Flaten said he initially began cleaning the coins himself, but then called Coinstar for assistance.
“I didn’t have to deal with clearning too many of them. I got through a couple of handfuls, was about ready to give up on them completely and then they reached out so that was really nice,” Flaten said.
In addition to paying Flaten, A OK and Walker must remove “all photographs of and references to former employee Andreas Flaten, and is permanently enjoined from posting photographs of or references to Mr. Flaten on [their website] or any other website or social media site.”
Flaten is not the only employee who accused Walker of creating a toxic work environment. Another employee told Atlanta News First Walker “[ripped] up people’s paychecks, their last checks, in front of their face.”
The consent judgment also accuses the company of employing workers for more than 40 hours per week without paying overtime and threatening employees who engage in “protected activity” such as filing labor complaints. They must also “not accept, request, or require that any employee return or decline payment of wages owed to them.”
Miles Walker said he was very upset with the media and said our reporting cost him a lot of money.
Flaten said he kept one penny and keeps it on his nightstand of as reminder of the ordeal. He said he hopes the ruling gives more employees the courage to speak up.
“I hope people aren’t as scared to step up,” said Flaten.
“Sure it was a legal payment, still a pain in the butt way to do that. But besides that I’m just happy that everyone else who had to work for this guy got some fair compensation,” said Flaten, who still lives in Fayetteville.
You can read the entire judgment below:
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