“He’s a F—–g Weenie”

See Two Updates, Below

I often wonder what happened in old stories, so I looked for the resolution of one was published two years ago last week. I’m a pretty decent researcher, but all I could find is the original news stories, and occasionally a comment about the story. So I dug deeper.

Let’s start with that story, from the 4 April 2021 issue:

An Ever Widening Platform

Andreas Flaten of Fayetteville, Ga., gave his boss two weeks’ notice that he was quitting A-OK Walker Luxury Autoworks in Peachtree City due to the company’s “toxic work environment.” On his last day he dropped off his uniforms — washed. But the owner didn’t pay him then, and didn’t pay him in January as promised, Flaten said. After months he told Walker he was going to call a lawyer over his missing $915, and very quickly the money was dropped off — a pile of pennies in Flaten’s driveway. They had oil dumped over them to make them hard to cash in, and a note on top reading “F–k you.” A reporter asked Miles Walker for his side of the story. “I don’t know if I did that or not,” Walker claimed. “I don’t really remember.” Wait, really? “It doesn’t matter, he got paid. That’s all that matters. He’s a f—–g weenie for even bringing it up.” Why’s that? “Because you guys give him a platform,” he said. “You guys are what’s wrong with the world. Get the f— off my property.” Coin recycler Coinstar not only picked up the pennies, they made a donation to two charities of Flaten’s choice. (RC/WGCL Atlanta, AP) …Walker seems a little unclear about what’s wrong with the world.

Note the “paystub” on top, and how the tire of the wheelbarrow is flattened. (Click to see larger.)

First Update

There was an update in the news that was good enough to make it into a follow-up story, in the 9 January 2022 issue:

A Penny Saved

In April, Miles Walker, owner of A-OK Walker Luxury Autoworks in Peachtree City, Ga., castigated an employee who quit due to the company’s “toxic work environment,” because the man wanted to get his final pay, $915. Walker sent him the money: 91,515 pennies soaked in oil, in the middle of his driveway. At the end of the year, the U.S. Department of Labor filed suit in federal court against Walker and his company, saying he retaliated against the employee, Andreas Flaten, in how he was paid and in postings on the company web site. (Example, in defending the penny caper: “Let us just say that maybe he stole? Maybe he killed a dog? Maybe he killed a cat? Maybe he was lazy? Maybe he was a butcher? Maybe he liked self-gratifying himself in clients’ cars? Whatever you want to think is your prerogative.”) The company also owes employees tens of thousands in back wages and unpaid overtime, the DOL says. Flaten says he declined to sue for himself. “I’m over it, but I’m definitely happy to see that justice is being served,” he said. (Washington Post, The Hill) …Maybe Walker is a jerk? A cheat? A bastard? Whatever you want to think is your prerogative.

When I Checked in April 2023, amazingly enough I found the guy is still in business! Even though Yelp has removed 81 bad reviews from people who were reacting to the news stories rather than actual experience with having their car serviced at the shop, their average review is still …one star. Not a huge surprise, I guess.

As mentioned, the first story was the Story of the Week for that issue, so you’re welcome to click this to make it larger, and grab and share it.

Plus, I noticed this on their web site: “And yes we accept pennies as payment! They are cash! 10%processing fees do apply.” (Quoted verbatim, including the missing space.) That saves him from being labeled a hypocrite, I suppose, but 10% penalty? Did he overpay his employee by 10% when he paid in pennies? (I doubt it. Hypocrite!)

But that’s where the trail ended. So last week I wrote to one of the press contacts at the U.S. Dept. of Labor to say I was doing a follow-up on the story, and what is the status? The press release didn’t name the court where the suit was filed, so I asked about that, too, and what the case number is. They replied within hours saying they’d find out and get back to me, and this morning they did. Now that’s good efficiency!

Second Update: Slapped But Good

At first, the second update wasn’t a lot, but at least it’s gratifying: “The parties are still in litigation, so there is nothing more to report currently,” the DOL contact replied after checking status, and answered my question: “The case number is 3:21-cv-00220-TCB. It is in the [U.S. District Court for the] Northern District of Georgia, Newnan Division.”

Thanks to getting the case citation, I was able to get a copy of the lawsuit, which is available for download here:

After two more months the other shoe dropped. It was enough that it led to a third story in True — two stories on one obliviot is unusual, three is pretty darned rare indeed. From the 25 June 2023 issue:

Fully Flattened

When we last heard from Miles Walker, the owner of A-OK Walker Luxury Autoworks in Peachtree City, Ga., who grudgingly paid employee Andreas Flaten his final wages by dumping 91,515 oiled pennies in Flaten’s driveway, the U.S. Department of Labor had filed a federal lawsuit against him, charging retaliation. (See “An Ever Widening Platform” in This is True for 4 April 2021 and “A Penny Saved” from 9 January 2022.) Not surprisingly, Walker lost in court, and has been ordered to pay nine former employees $39,934 in back wages and damages. Flaten will receive $8,690 of that amount. In addition, Walker was ordered to remove any photographs and references to Flaten and other current or former employees on his web site, and to never post any more there “or any other website or social media site.” Perhaps even better, Walker must post the judgment “immediately in all conspicuous places in its facility where employee notices are usually posted,” and “Conspicuously display a division fact sheet on prohibiting retaliation under the [Fair Labor Standards Act].” (RC/Macon Telegraph, WAGA Atlanta) …OK, taking bets: NOW does Walker get it?

If you want to read the entire case conclusion, here’s the filing in reasonably understandable English:

This whole thing is, to my mind, a great example of what’s heavily infecting Americans lately: an attitude of “I’m right, everybody else is wrong. Except for the people in my family|political party|church|whatever.”

That’s simply …unlikely, no matter what the subject. Something to think about, eh? I wonder if Walker has? I just checked again: his Yelp review average is still one star.

The sad part: from oily penny delivery to finally getting full court agreement that they were stiffed on a lot of wages, the employees had to wait more than two years. The wheels of justice grind slowly.

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5 Comments on ““He’s a F—–g Weenie”

  1. The fact the us government can sue someone for paying an employee in pennies shows how out of balance our currency is. We really need a do-over. A penny paid for a loaf of bread when it was first minted.

    Sure, but a daily wage was typically 7-20 cents. But really, the case isn’t about the pennies. -rc

    • Don’t you have Legal Tender in the USA? In the United Kingdom we have the following:

      The maximum amounts for which coins are accepted as legal tender in the UK are as follows:

      For £2 and £1 coins: any amount
      For 50p and 20p coins: up to £10
      For 10p and 5p coins: up to £5
      For 2p and 1p coins: up to 20 pence

      What do those limits have to do with the existence of “legal tender”? If anything, it sounds like an exception — “It’s legal tender, except when….” -rc

      • Not sure on the exact values here in Australia, but there are similar limits to prevent just this sort of thing happening*, which as in the case Randy reports on, is just low grade bullying, often of the most junior staff in organisations.

        It wouldn’t have mattered if he paid in 10c or 25c coins, it’s still petty bullying for no reason. The oil poured on the coins is totally unnecessary, and is a health hazard to the recipient and the environment.

        This Sth Aussie road warrior ended up paying twice, once in coins which were not accepted, and again by cash/cheque.

        *having said that, many smaller shops are happy to take several dollars in assorted change, as it saves them some of the bank charges on cash handling.

        I love that he had to pay again. -rc

  2. Any idea who took care of the “oil spill”? If I was Mr. Walker, I’d be concerned about the EPA getting on my case.

    I assume it was Flaten and/or his girlfriend, who apparently helped him clean up. But yeah, that would be a complicating factor. -rc

  3. Your comment at the end resonated with me:

    This whole thing is, to my mind, a great example of what’s heavily infecting Americans lately: an attitude of “I’m right, everybody else is wrong. Except for the people in my family|political party|church|whatever.”

    It certainly applies to Trump’s followers. Always say the scary thing is not that America produced Donald Trump, but that nearly half the population vote for him….

    Sorry, bit off-topic, but your comment fitted so well!

    Well, it certainly applies to some of Trump’s followers. But thanks for giving me the opportunity to point out that it’s absolutely incorrect to say nearly half the population voted for him, and why.

    In the 2020 election, according to the Federal Election Commission, Trump received 74,223,975 votes, and Biden 81,283,501 votes. We can’t fully ignore the minor candidates (really? Kanye West actually got 70,950 votes?!), though only one got more than a half-million (Jo Jorgensen of the Libertarian Party, with 1,865,535). All told, there were 158,429,631 recorded votes among all the candidates on official ballots. (Source)

    Certainly you see the problem: “the population” of the U.S. as of Census Reference Day (April 1, 2020) was approximately 329.5 million. Obviously, nowhere near all of them are eligible to vote, particularly those under 18. The US Elections Project estimates that for the 2020 general election, the “Voting-Eligible Population” was 239,924,038 out of a Voting-Age Population of 258,339,023 (the difference mainly being current prisoners and other ineligible convicted felons). Obviously, not all of the VEP are actually registered to vote, let alone actually voted.

    So the best you can say is that Trump gained the votes of 74,223,975 of 239,924,038 possible votes = 30.94 percent of the VEP or, in the terms you used, 74,223,975 of 329.5 million = 22.53 percent of the population. (In the same terms, Biden was elected with 33.88 percent of the VEP or 24.67 percent of the population).

    To put it clearly, more VEP didn’t vote at all than the number of people who voted for the winning candidate; a reasonably small percentage of them could have, but didn’t, change the outcome of the election. They’re the ones who made the difference, not the ones who voted Libertarian or Green. Votes really do count. Those of the VEP who actually care who is president need to make sure they’re registered, and do everything they can to vote.

    P.S.: The assertion that the election was “stolen” from Trump is a lie, and he knows it; he’s the one who made it up. Those who actually believe that lie are fools. For the record (again), I used to be a Republican and have never been a Democrat. For many years I have been an Independent voter, and vote in every election I’m entitled to, from local to national. -rc


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