Wendy’s fired 20-year veteran Dennis Peek, who has Down syndrome, claiming his work was under par. After severe backlash, he was rehired.
Dennis Peeker, 51, has Down syndrome and worked at Wendy’s in Stanley, North Carolina, for over 20 years. Peeker had plans to retire from the fast-food restaurant and has been happy working with his teammates and loyal customers over the years.
Unfortunately, Peeker was fired from Wendy’s because “he wasn’t able to do his job like a normal person,” as stated by his sister in a Facebook post.
Dennis Peeker’s sister was outraged but did not tell her brother he was fired. Instead, she took to social media to tell his story. Her heartbreaking post is here.
“His dream was to retire from there some day and he was looking forward to a huge retirement party,” Turner wrote on Facebook on Oct. 5. “We may just give him that party and tell him he has retired because he does not understand being fired.
They told me was unable to perform the duties of a normal persons job. I am also looking into a wrongful termination of a special needs employee. I am very disappointed with the management at Wendy’s in Stanley, they have no idea how they hurt my brother!”
In a statement, the Carolina Restaurant Group said, “we are committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for our employees and our customers. This was an unfortunate mistake and lapse in protocol. We are in touch with the employee’s family, and we are looking forward to welcoming him back to work in the restaurant.”
After the story went viral on social media, many Wendy’s fans claimed they were disgusted with how they handled the situation. Even some say the franchise went too far and broke the law.
Other Twitter users are waiting for a public apology.
Although angered Wendy’s fans are focused on Dennis’s story, other stories have a happy endings and worth sharing.
In 2020, Nicky was hired at a Wendy’s store in Port Richey, Florida. Nicky’s manager and the employees were hesitant to work with him at first because they had never worked or interacted with anyone with Down syndrome. Still, after only a few short days, people began requesting to work with him during the same shift.
Nicky worked three hours a day at the register and the grill. You can read the heartwarming story here.
In an article by McKinsey & Company, workers with Down syndrome can bring a lot of value to others, “People with Down syndrome generally have a positive impact on a number of organizational health dimensions such as leadership, external orientation (a positive impact on client satisfaction), culture and climate, motivation, and coordination and control. “
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One thought on “Wendy’s Fires Veteran Staffer Who Has Down Syndrome, Reinstated After Viral Backlash”
One an only imagine the hardened heart of that manager. Assuming the manager hasnnot worked there as long as the employee he fired….What would allow him to believe he knew more or knew better than all managers before him?? It does seem bizarre that – also asuming this manager has all his brain cells intact – would 1) not give somone with a 20 year history & known issues leeway, 2) be thrilled to keep employed a loyal employee 3) HHave – what is known is some circles as – rachmones.