Oil-Covered Pennies

You’ve heard of a lucky penny.  91,000 pennies, not as lucky.  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Last year, a boss at first refused to pay a former employee his final wages until the employee complained to the Department of Labor.  Then, instead of giving him his $915 in a final paycheck, the boss instead dumped 500 pounds of oil-covered pennies in his driveway in the middle of the night. When asked, the boss said he couldn’t remember if he did that.  That sounds legit.  The boss added, he got paid, that’s all that matters.  Is it though?  Is that legal?

Well, the coins themselves weren’t the problem.  Soaking them in oil, which took seven hours to clean, according to the Department of Labor, constituted retaliation for his claim of unpaid wages.  And once it started investigating, the DOL found eight other employees weren’t paid correctly, so it recently filed a claim for $37,000 against the boss, who may have been penny wise, pound foolish.

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