Mastodon Ohio Employer Law Blog: Worst Employer 2019 : Ohio Employment and Labor Law, by Jon Hyman
Showing posts with label Worst Employer 2019. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Worst Employer 2019. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

An update on the Worst Employer of 2019


What did Bobby Edwards do to earn the title of the Worst Employer of 2019?
Bobby Edwards, the manager of J&J Cafeteria in Conway, South Carolina, effectively enslaved JCS (to whom we refer with the fictitious name "Jack"), forcing him to work at the restaurant over 100 hours per week without pay. …

In 1990, when Jack was 12 years old, he started working part-time at J&J Cafeteria as a dishwasher. He has an intellectual disability and an IQ of 70. After a few years of part-time work, Jack dropped out of high school and started working full-time at the restaurant. For the first 19 years of his employment, when the restaurant was owned and managed by different members of the Edwards family, Jack was always paid for his labor.

That, however, changed in September 2009, after Bobby Edwards took over the management of the restaurant. Edwards moved Jack into an apartment attached to the restaurant and forced him to work more than 100 hours per week without pay — usually 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. for 6 days and 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sundays. Not only did Jack work long hours without pay, he was never given a day off. Edwards effected this forced labor by taking advantage of Jack's intellectual disability and keeping Jack isolated from his family, threatening to have him arrested, and verbally abusing him. His control over Jack also involved physical abuse. Once, when Jack failed to deliver fried chicken to the buffet as quickly as Edwards had demanded, Edwards dipped metal tongs into hot grease and pressed them to Jack's neck, resulting in a burn that fellow employees had to immediately treat. Other times, when Jack made supposed mistakes, Edwards whipped him with his belt, beat him with kitchen pans, and punched him with his fists. This treatment left Jack physically and psychologically scarred. Jack later said, "I felt like I was in prison. Most of the time I felt unsafe, like Bobby could kill me if he wanted. … I wanted to get out of that place so bad but couldn't think about how I could without being hurt."

At the time of sentencing, the judge ordered Edwards to pay Jack $272,952.96 in restitution, in addition to sentencing him to 10 years in prison. 

Last month, the court of appeals ruled that Edwards should pay liquidated damages to Jack under the FLSA in addition to the $272,952.96 of back wages. Under the FLSA, an aggrieved employee is entitled to an award of liquidated damages in an amount equal to the total amount of unpaid wages (i.e., double damages) unless the employer can show (1) that it acted in good faith; and (2) that it had reasonable grounds to believe it had complied with the FLSA. I see no way possible that Edwards could have ever hoped to have met that standard.

Thus, at the end of the day, Jack should receive a total award of $545,905.92 in restitution. Of course, how Edwards intends to make good on his substantial obligation to Jack is another story. 

Finally, my offer to Bobby Paul Edwards still stands. If the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, North Carolina, will not allow him to collect his trophy, I’ll have it waiting for him to claim when he's released in 2029.

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.


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Don’t forget to vote: Polls close at 11 pm tonight for the Worst Employer of 2019


If you haven’t yet voted for the Worst Employer of 2019, time is running out. Polls close at 11 pm tonight.


And come back tomorrow when I’ll announce the very worthy winner.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

VOTE NOW for the “Worst Employer of 2019” — polls are open


All year long, I’ve been sharing examples of the worst employers in America. My goal? Compile them at the end of the year and then turn it over to you, my readers, to pick the worst of the worst.

Today is your opportunity to help pick the Worst Employer of 2019.

I’ve narrowed this year’s preliminary list down to my choice for the top 10 naughty employers.

Voting will take from today until December 17, at 11 pm. You will be able to vote for up to 3 choices.

I will then tally the votes, and, announce the highest recipient as the very worthy winner of the Worst Employer of 2019.

Vote, share this post with your friends, colleagues, and social networks, and, most importantly, learn something from the mistakes of these 10 very worthy, and cringy, nominees.


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The 20th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the malignant mogul


The 20th (and final) nominee for the Worst Employer of 2019 is Alki David, heir to the Coca-Cola bottling fortune and owner of several media firms.

The evidence?

This week, a jury awarded over $58 million to a female employee who accused him of thrusting his pelvis into her face, simulating oral sex, moaning, and zipping up his pants and walking away saying, “Thanks, M.K.”

Monday, November 11, 2019

The 19th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the barbaric boss


The headline is scary enough.

South Carolina Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for 
Forcing Man with Intellectual Disability to Work at Restaurant

But for this nominee, the devil lives in the details.

Monday, October 28, 2019

The 18th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the fecal loving fast-food manager


Kari Phillips did not feel well when she awoke prior to her shift at an Oregon City, Oregon, McDonald’s. She called the restaurant to request that someone cover her shift because of her stomach ailment, but a manager told her she had to come in, but would allow her to use the bathroom whenever needed.

According to Willamette Week, however, that’s not what happened once Phillips arrived at work.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

A dramatic retelling of the 17th nominee for the worst employer of 2019



Click here for the full story.

The 17th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the mauling manager


I don’t even know what to say about today’s nominee for 2019’s worst employer, so I’ll just let Newsweek do the heavy lifting.

A Pakistani electrician is filing charges against a client who refused to pay their bill and instead unleashed a pet lion on him. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

The 16th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the shameful wall builder


If you’re a health care facility whose employees erect a “wall of shame” of disabled patients, and then you drag your feet when an employee, who was also a patient, reports the misconduct, you might be the worst employer of 2019.

From the Bangor (Maine) Daily News:

Employees at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston created a “wall of shame” where they displayed confidential medical records of patients with disabilities detailing issues with their genitalia and bodily functions, according to an investigation by the Maine Human Rights Commission that found the exhibit had contributed to a hostile work environment. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The 15th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the disability demoter


An employee tells you he might need to leave work on a moment’s notice to rush home to care for his disabled daughter (born with a severe neurological disorder, Rett Syndrome, which affects the ability to speak, walk, breathe, and eat, among other things).

Do you?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The 14th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the horrible harasser


In its press release announcing a recently filed sexual harassment lawsuit, the EEOC says that a N.Y.-based housing development and property management company violated Title VII when its owner and top executive, repeatedly subjected female employees to crude sexual comments, called them sexually obscene names, and showed them pornography.

And, as bad as that sounds, that description barely scratches the surface of what is actually alleged to have happened in this workplace.

Monday, July 15, 2019

The 13th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the excoriating executives


It’s been nearly a month since I posted the last nominee for 2019’s Worst Employer. It’s not for lack of ideas; it’s just that the prior nominees have been so awful that the bar for qualification has been set pretty high. Thankfully, France Télécom has come to the rescue.

What did the former top executives at France’s national phone company do to earn their nomination?


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The 12th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the disguised doctor


Norma Melgoza, a long-time employee of Rush University Medical Center, is suing her employer for sex discrimination and equal-pay violations stemming from a denied application for a promotion.

In support of her claim of glass ceiling gender bias, Melgoza points to certain misconduct of the interviewing physician. I’ll let the district court explain.

Monday, May 20, 2019

The 11th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the 💩y supervisor


From the legaladvice subreddit:

So background, I have IBS and sometimes have to go the bathroom multiple times per work day. My supervisor doesn’t believe I am legitimately using the bathroom, so he said today at the end of the day today if I don’t send him a picture or otherwise prove that I used the bathroom, I will lose 15 minutes of paid time. What sort of recourse do I have?

Monday, April 8, 2019

The 10th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the exorcising employer


Is it too early to declare a winner for 2019's contest?

According to the complaint Jason Fields fired against the Hampton Inn at which he worked, and its manager, Sharon Lindon, he had to endure some pretty odd stuff during his employment.

As he tells his story, Lindon decided to help Field's after she learned of his impending divorce. How? By offering to exorcise him.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The 9th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the fertile firing


MoMA PS1, a Queens, New York, art museum, has agreed to settle a pregnancy discrimination claim brought by Nikki Columbus, hired by the museum to direct its performance program. She alleged that the museum rescinded her job offer after it learned she had recently given birth.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The 8th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the lascivious leader


I can't do any better of job than the EEOC did in describing the parade of horribles the one supervisor wrought at Sys-Con, a Montgomery, Alabama, general contractor:

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, from December 2015 to May 2017, a supervisor at Sys-Con's worksite at the Hyundai manufacturing plant in Montgomery, demanded sexual favors from two non-English speaking Hispanic female employees and watched pornographic videos in front of them. The EEOC further charged that the supervisor sexually assaulted one of the employees and sub­sequently taunted her, asking whether she "liked it."

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The 7th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the disability debaser


The 7th nominee for the Worst Employer of 2019 is an employer that (allegedly) permitted a nearly year-long campaign to malign and harass an employee living with ADHD and Tourette's syndrome.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The 6th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the diverse discriminator


How many different ways can one employer discriminate? How about eight.

The EEOC recently settled a national origin and disability discrimination lawsuit against a staffing agency, brought on behalf of a group of Latino employees working at an Alabama poultry plant.