Employee With Down Syndrome Fired From Wendy’s In Stanley

STANLEY, N.C. — The family of a man with Down Syndrome is outraged after he was fired from his job at a Wendy’s in Stanley.

Wendy’s is calling it an “unfortunate mistake”. The employee’s sister is saying it’s not right and she’s sticking up for her little brother.

Dennis Peek found his calling working at Wendy’s on South Highway 27 in Stanley.

“It’s definitely his purpose,” said Peek’s sister Cona Turner of his job.

Turner tells WCCB Charlotte’s Gary Brode her baby brother looked forward to going to work.

“People would come in and they will say ‘Hey Dennis’ and he laughs and gets all giddy,” describes Turner.

For 20 plus years, the 53-year-old Peek was tasked with cleaning up after customers.

Turner said the job meant “everything” to her brother. That’s why she was heartbroken to find out Peek was fired because of his limited skill set.

“Because he can’t do more than what he’s capable of. You can’t fire him, it’s not right. It’s not right,” said Turner as she wipes away a tear from her eye.

Carolina Restaurant Group owns the Wendy’s. Wendy’s corporate office shared this statement with WCCB on behalf of the Carolina Restaurant Group:

“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.”

We followed up with Wendy’s to find out the job status of the manager responsible for firing Peek.

The Wendy’s Media Relations department responded by writing:

“We cannot comment further on personnel matters, but we’re taking appropriate action. This was an unfortunate mistake that we’re working through with the team member, his job coach and family. We’re also using this as an opportunity to retrain all our teams on our protocols.”