Boss Who Paid Worker’s Final Salary in Oily Pennies Must Pay $39,000

A Georgia repair shop owner retaliated against a former employee by paying him close to $1,000 in dirty pennies

United States Pennies Cents
United States Wheat Pennies. PHOTO: TIM BOYLE/GETTY

The owner of an auto repair shop in Peachtree City, Ga., is regretting his decision to pay a former employee’s last paycheck in oily pennies.


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Miles Walker and A OK Luxury Autoworks were ordered to pay Andreas Flaten and eight other employees more than $39,000 in a consent judgment from the Northern District of Georgia Newnan Division on June 13, which included $19,967 in back wages and $19,697 in “liquidated damages.”

At the same time, Walker and his company were ordered to remove all photographs and references of Flaten from its website and social media pages and ensure that the consent judgment is posted in “conspicuous places” around the repair shop. The company also has to post a division fact sheet on the Fair Labor Standards Act’s prohibition of retaliation in the shop.

driveway pennies
The pennies delivered to Andreas Flaten. COURTESY OLIVIA OXLEY

The Department of Labor filed a complaint against Walker and A OK Luxury Autoworks in December 2021 after investigators found Walker and his company violated the retaliation, overtime and recordkeeping parts of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Flaten also contacted the department after Walker allegedly failed to pay him his final wages and, in retaliation, Walker delivered 91,500 oil-covered pennies onto Flaten’s driveway, complete with a pay stub.

The pile of pennies was so large it blocked and stained Flatens’ driveway and took almost seven hours for Flaten to remove. To make matters worse, Walker also published “defamatory statements” about Flaten on his company’s website.

The pennies delivered to Andreas Flaten. COURTESY OLIVIA OXLEY

In April 2021 Flaten’s girlfriend, Olivia Oxley, told PEOPLE they were initially “super ticked” about the pile of pennies left on their drive, but that this changed when it came to cleaning them up.



“After the first shovel full, all we could do was laugh because this poor miserable man took so much time to be vindictive and cruel,” Oxley said. “We absolutely refused to let him ruin a single moment of ours.”

Speaking after the verdict, U.S. Department of Labor Regional Solicitor Tremelle Howard said in a statement that “The court has sent a clear message to employers such as Miles Walker who subject employees to unfair wage practices and outright intimidation and retaliation.”

“By law, worker engagement with the U.S. Department of Labor is a protected activity,” he added. “Workers should not fear harassment or intimidation in the workplace.”

The pennies delivered to Andreas Flaten. COURTESY OLIVIA OXLEY


“Employers who mistakenly believe they can willfully violate labor laws at the expense of employees and competitors must understand that we will do everything within our rights to bring them to justice.”

“Workers are entitled to obtain the wages they earned without fear of harassment or intimidation,” added Wage and Hour Regional Administrator Juan Coria. “The Wage and Hour Division will use all tools available to ensure workers’ rights are protected and that employers do not retaliate against them when they assert those rights. This case should serve as notice to employers that retaliation will not be tolerated.”



Daniel S. Levine