Court: Black man made to work without pay entitled to $546K

Court: Black man made to work without pay entitled to $546K
Bardstown Mayor Richard Heaton believes the city’s former financial officer took money from the city over a six-year period starting in 2013. (Source: Pexels)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court has ruled that a Black man with intellectual disabilities who was forced to work more than 100 hours a week without pay in a South Carolina restaurant is entitled to double the amount of restitution a judge originally ordered his former manager to pay.

A federal judge ordered Bobby Edwards to pay John Christopher Smith nearly $273,000 in restitution for unpaid wages and overtime over a five-year period.

But the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month the judge should have doubled that amount, to about $546,000, by including liquidated damages.

Edwards pleaded guilty to forced labor and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

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