14/06/2021

A restaurant manager who forced a Black man to work without pay owes him more than $500,000 in restitution, court rules - CNN

US

A restaurant manager who forced a Black man to work
without pay owes him more than $500,000 in restitution, court
rules
By Scottie Andrew, CNN

 Updated 2152 GMT (0552 HKT) May 3, 2021

Bobby Edwards, a South Carolina restaurant manager, was sentenced to prison for 10 years.

(CNN) — A South Carolina man who was forced to work over 100 hours every week for years without pay and
subjected to verbal and physical abuse was supposed to receive close to $273,000 in restitution after his
former manager pleaded guilty.
But that initial amount was too low, an appellate court ruled in April. The man should have received more than
double that amount -- closer to $546,000 -- from the manager to account for federal labor laws, according to
the ruling.
John Christopher Smith was forced to work at a cafeteria in Conway without pay for years. His manager, Bobby
Edwards, pleaded guilty to forced labor in 2018 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his abuse of Smith,
a Black man who has intellectual disabilities.
A US District Court judge in 2019 ordered Edwards, who is
White, to pay Smith around $273,000 in restitution, which
represented Smith's unpaid wages and overtime.
But the court "erred in failing to include liquidated
damages" in the restitution, a provision of the Fair Labor
Standards Act that would've doubled the amount of
restitution Smith received, according to the April ruling
from the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals based in
Richmond, Virginia.
The Fair Labor Standards Act's liquidated-damages
provision holds that if failing to pay a worker's wages on
time is so detrimental to that worker's "minimum standard
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/05/03/us/south-carolina-man-forced-work-restitution-doubled-trnd/index.html?utm_term=link&utm_medium=social&ut… 1/3

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