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The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 2, January 9, 2022, Article 31

PENNY PILE PRECIPITATES PROSECUTION

Leon Saryan sent in this update to last March's story about a Georgia company's pile of revenge pennies. -Editor

greasy penny wheelbarrow When Andreas Flaten didn't receive his final paycheck from a former employer last January, he complained about it, calling up the US Department of Labor to lodge an accusation of wage theft. That employer responded by leaving more than 91,000 pennies on his driveway in Fayetteville, Georgia.

Now the US government is suing that company, arguing the act constituted illegal retaliation.

In a complaint filed with a federal court in Georgia, the Department of Labor accuses A OK Walker Autoworks and its owner, Miles Walker, of more than just pettiness.

The lawsuit claims the auto-repair shop bilked its workers out of money they were owed. The lawsuit accuses the company of "repeatedly and willfully" failing to pay time and a half for overtime, instead relying on a flat rate of pay regardless of whether someone worked more than 40 hours in a week.

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 honestly didn't think anything would be done," Flaten, 27, said in a phone interview with Insider. He didn't expect much when he first argued his wages had been stolen. What's happened since has restored some of his faith in government, and he thinks it should be a lesson to other workers who find themselves in a similar position.

"They definitely should not be scared to reach out," he said. "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."

Thanks also to Len Augsburger who forwarded a New York Times article. -Editor

To read the complete articles, see:
US government sues Georgia auto-repair shop that dumped more than 91,000 pennies in a former employee's driveway (https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-government-sues-georgia-auto-011404331.html)
U.S. Sues Shop Owner Who Dumped 91,500 Pennies on Ex-Worker's Driveway (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/09/us/georgia-auto-shop-pennies-lawsuit.html)

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
THE 500-POUND POMADED PENNY PILE (https://www.coinbooks.org/v24/esylum_v24n13a35.html)

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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