Smith, now in his 40s, began working at J&J as a dishwasher at the age of 12 in 1990. Due to his intellectual impairment and seemingly good relationship with the restaurant’s management — Edwards’ extended family — he dropped out of school and opted for a full-time gig. In 2009, Edwards took over the restaurant, cut Smith’s pay and began his tortuous reign.
Before he was sent to the slammer, Edwards was ordered to pay Smith in the amount of $500,000 for damages, including $272,000 in back pay.
The abusive ordeal came to an end in 2014 when a co-worker’s mother-in-law reported Edwards. Only a year later in 2015, Smith described Edwards as a “slave driver.”