Employer Sentenced For ‘Enslaving’ Employee With Mental Disabilities, Working Him 100 Hours A Week

The man behind one of the most unconscionable treatments of a worker is behind bars.

Business Insider reports:

“A South Carolina restaurant owner was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday for abusing a mentally disabled employee and forcing him to work with no pay for years.

Bobby Paul Edwards, who owned J&J Cafeteria in Conway, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to one count of forced labor for ‘coercing an African-American man with an intellectual disability to work extensive hours at a restaurant for no pay,’ according to a press release from the Justice Department.

“It is almost inconceivable that instances of forced labor endure in this country to this day – a century and a half after the Emancipation Proclamation,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband said in a statement. ‘The Department of Justice will continue to investigate, prosecute, and convict human traffickers involved in forced labor, seeking justice on behalf of their victims.’

[Target To Open Thanksgiving, Close At 1 AM, Giving Employees Six Hours Before Black Friday Shift]

Chris Smith, who has a mild cognitive disability, said Edwards would coerce him into doing over 100 hours of labor per week without pay. The abuse included Edwards beating him with a belt, fists, and pots and pans, according to the Justice Department press release.

In one incident, Smith said Edwards dipped metal tongs into hot grease and burned his neck.”

For the rest of the story, visit Business Insider here.

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