A Black man with intellectual disabilities should be awarded more than $500,000 after he was enslaved for five years at a South Carolina restaurant, a court ruled.
Bobby Paul Edwards, who is white, pleaded guilty in June 2018 to one count of forced labor for using “violence and other coercive means” to make John Christopher Smith work at his restaurant for more than 100 hours a week without pay, the U.S. Department of Justice previously said in a press release.
As part of his guilty plea, Edwards was sentenced to 10 years in prison and was ordered to pay Smith $272,952.96 in restitution. However, a court ruled last month that the amount should be doubled and Smith should receive more than $545,000.
In the April 21 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit stated that the initial amount decided by the court had “erred in refusing to include liquidated damages in its order of restitution.”
Citing the Fair Labor Standards Act, the court said an employer who fails to pay minimum wages and overtime to a worker is “liable for ‘liquidated damages’” in an amount equal to that missed compensation.
(read more at nbcnews.com)