Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Worst Employer of 2019 is…

After a year of gathering 20 very worthy nominees, whittling it down to 10 awful finalists, and compiling hundreds upon hundreds of your votes, today is the day to declare the Worst Employer of 2019.

While all of the year’s nominees were worthy adversaries, the winner truly stood head and shoulders above the competition. But, before naming the winner, let’s count down the non-winners.

Honorable Mentions (each receiving less than 10% of the vote)

10. The Exorcising Employer — manager tells employee he has to submit to an exorcism to cure his marital problems

9. The Little Rascal Racist — manager substitutes photo of Buckwheat for that of the lone African-American employee in a team-building exercise

8. The Fishy Fishery — employer defends supervisor who gropes female subordinates (among other misconduct) by telling employees that he’s “crazy” and that’s “just how he is.”

7. The Disability Debaser — employer permits year-long campaign to malign and harass an employee with ADHD and Tourette’s syndrome, including disparaging nicknames

6. The Disability Demoter — employer fires employee after a leave of absence to care for his seriously ill daughter, after telling him, “Your problems at home are not the company’s problems.”

The Top 5 (each receiving more than 25% of the vote)

5. The Philandering Pharmacist — pharmacy owner requires employees to submit to spankings before collecting their paychecks, and parades around the workplace naked

4. The Malignant Mogul — business owner accused of thrusting his pelvis into a female employee’s face, simulating oral sex, moaning, and zipping up his pants and walking away saying, “Thanks, M.K.”

3. The Lascivious Leader — supervisor sexually assaults one of his employees, then taunts her about it after the fact, and threatens to fire her and her husband if she complains

2. The Fecal Loving Fast-Food Manager — manager refuses to allow ill employee to use the bathroom, further refuses to allow her to go home and change her clothes after she soiled herself, and then fires her when she does anyway

But the winner was a clear and unambiguous landslide, earning over 62% of the vote (more than double any other nominee).

The Worst Employer of 2019 is… 

The Barbaric Boss — employer forces intellectually disabled African-American employee to work excessive hours for no pay, and abuses him for mistakes (including belt beatings and hot grease burns)

U.S. District Court Judge R. Bryan Harwell sentenced defendant Bobby Paul Edwards, 54, of Conway, South Carolina, to 10 years in prison and ordered him to pay $272,952.96 in restitution to the victim. The defendant pleaded guilty on June 4, 2018, 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 the defendant’s plea colloquy and admissions in court, between 2009 and 2014, the defendant used violence and other coercive means to compel the victim to work for more than 100 hours a week for no pay at a restaurant managed by the defendant in Conway, South Carolina. The defendant subjected the victim to physical and emotional abuse whenever the victim made a mistake or failed to work fast enough. The defendant beat the victim with a belt, fists, and pots and pans. On one occasion, he dipped metal tongs into hot grease and burned the victim’s neck. The defendant further yelled at the victim and used racial slurs to belittle and demean him. After a concerned resident notified state authorities of the defendant’s abuse, the victim was removed from the situation in October 2014.

Congratulations Bobby Paul Edwards. If the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, North Carolina, will not allow you to collect your trophy, I’ll have it waiting for you to claim in 2029.