Employer retaliation in violation of federal law (punishing of an employee for engaging in legally protected activity) can take many forms – demotion, discipline, salary reduction, a job or shift reassignment. Sometimes it’s more subtle than that. And then other times, it’s a driveway full of oily pennies.
An employer in Georgia is facing a federal lawsuit for workplace retaliation for doing just that. The U.S. Department of Labor alleges the incident began with a former employee complaining to its offices about not receiving his final paycheck – an act that violates federal law.
The incident made headlines when the girlfriend of the former auto repair shop employee posted a video on her Instagram of the oil-slicked, coppery mess in their driveway. In total, there were 91,500 pennies dumped in the driveway, the employee’s final paycheck sitting on top, addressed with a handwritten expletive.
The DOL filed its federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, alleging the act was employer retaliation for a complaint the former employee made to federal authorities in January 2021 to report he hadn’t received his final paycheck for $915. His last day worked had been in November 2020. The pennies were dumped on the former employee’s driveway in March 2021. Continue Reading ›