After a long battle, a Georgia autoshop worker has at last received his final paycheck... in oily pennies.
Andreas Flaten quit his job at A OK Walker Autoworks in Peachtree City in November, claiming it was a toxic workplace; and going by the alleged payroll methods, there certainly seems to be some veracity to his claims.
Four months after his last day, he emerged from his home to discover a mountain of exactly 91,515 pennies had been dumped on his driveway, each of them covered in a greasy substance.
His last paystub was resting on top in an envelope addressed: "F--- you!"
His girlfriend Olivia Oxley posted a video on Instagram of the petty deposit, explaining that after being given a resignation letter and two weeks notice, the boss became allegedly even more insufferable, causing her boyfriend to walk out after just five days.
She said his former employer had refused to pay his final wage of $915, claiming damages to his shop; but when the word "lawyer" was introduced, he finally relented... somewhat.
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"We can’t even get all the pennies up because they’re covered in some type of oil," she wrote, proving it in the clip by taking a handful.
"Who the hell knows how were going to get them out of the driveway, up into the car, out of the car again, and into a bank or coin star. And that’s if we can even do that because they’re covered in oil."
"I'm not sure what’s worse...the fact that this man is so miserable he can’t accept an employee leaving because he’s the biggest a--hole I’ve seriously ever met, or the fact that he went through THAT much effort to get $915 worth of HEAVYYY pennies just to say 'f--- you'. I mean....couldn’t he have just pissed on the check or something?...."
CBS46 spoke with a number of former A OK Walker employees who agreed with the appraisal of the workplace; one said he ripped up employee's final paychecks in front of their faces, while another female former employee said her boss once pulled down her pants at work to prove she "had a bigger d--- than any of the boys".
The station also interviewed owner Miles Walker, who said he couldn't remember if he left the pennies there or not.
In an audio recording, he can be heard telling the reporter Flaten is a "f------ weenie" for complaining about it. "It doesn't matter — he got paid, that's all that matters," he said.
More employees from A OK Walker Luxury Auto shop have come forward to talk about the toxic work environment. So I went to ask the owner about what started the whole conversation, paying employees in thousands of pennies. #firstname.lastname@example.org/rTZtCC7Lv9
He described himself as an "honest hardworking man", admitting he knew "tons" about the penny payoff, but then immediately added: "I don’t know if I did that or not, I don't really remember."
Flaten has since spent hours each night scrubbing the pennies in batches by hand with rag; it takes around 2 hours to clean $5 worth.
But his girlfriend has started to see the bright side.
"With that many pennies, we're bound to find a few treasures. I've already found one from 1937," she said. '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."
According to the US Department of Labor, there are no regulations dictating what denomination employers must pay wages in.