A small business owner was investigated by an agent from the State Labor Commissioner, Dept. of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards, Fair Employment and Housing Enforcement. She claimed the owner was not paying proper employee wages and she demanded a list of his employees and an accounting of their wages.

The business owner told the agent he has only 2 employees. One employee, Bubba, has worked for him for 3 years, he’s paid $200 a week and he gets free room and board. He also told her of Emma Lou who has worked for him 18 months. She’s paid $150 per week, and she too gets free room and board. The owner paused a moment and then said he nearly forgot about the half-wit. He said the half-wit works about 18 hours a day and does most of the work. The owner was quick to add that as payment for the labor performed the half-wit’”s room and board is included, that he buys the half-wit a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night and on special occasions he sleeps with the owner’s wife.

The agent became visibly disturbed as the owner told her about the half-wit. She scowled with disgust as she reprimanded him. She recited numerous employee relation regulation violations he committed, adding her umbrage of him having taken advantage of his mentally challenged employee. She told the owner that the circumstances mandated the need to interview the obviously abused employee that the owner disparagingly referred to as a half-wit.

“That would be me,” replied the business owner.