Friday, March 26, 2021

Here's your paycheck

Via the New York Times, this way to resolve an employee dispute: 

A OK Walker Luxury Autoworks in Peachtree City, Ga., has built Ford Mustangs for the Clint Eastwood film “Trouble With the Curve” and for an attempt at a world record for land speed, according to its website. Now the high-end car repair shop has acquired another rare distinction: It has been accused of paying a former employee in pennies.

To be precise, that’s 91,500 pennies, adding up to $915 in wages owed — although Andreas Flaten, who was a manager at A OK Walker until last November, has not counted them to make sure he got every last cent. He said his former employer had left him a glimmering mound of pennies at the end of his driveway on March 12 to punish him for quitting and persistently demanding his final paycheck.

...Mr. Flaten said that the foundation of his workplace dispute had to do with his employer’s lack of sensitivity to his need to pick up his child from day care at a certain time. Mr. Walker, the owner, recruited him, he said. And he accepted the job because they had an agreement that he could leave at 5 p.m.

That arrangement became even more important during the pandemic, when the child-care facility began closing early. But the promise evaporated, Mr. Flaten said. That, and some other unpleasant exchanges, led Mr. Flaten to give notice late last year that he was planning to quit, and then to walk off the job even earlier than planned.

Months later, when his final week’s wages still had not arrived, Mr. Flaten filed a claim with the U.S. Department of Labor. The agency confirmed that it had contacted the repair shop three times.

...Around 7 p.m. on March 12, a video recorded by Mr. Flaten’s doorbell camera shows a young man with long wavy hair on his front porch.

“Hey, your money is at the end of the driveway, bud,” says the man, who Mr. Flaten said he believed was a current employee of the repair shop. 

About an hour later, when Mr. Flaten tried to drive to the store, he found his way blocked by a mountain of pennies. Placed amid the foul-smelling coins was an envelope etched with an expression of unmistakable disapproval. Inside he found his pay stub, but no check.

Kind of a crummy thing to do, to be honest. 

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