STANLEY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – There is outrage over the firing of a long-time Wendy’s employee who has special needs from the Wendy’s in Stanley in Gaston County.
The sister of the man with special needs says her brother was on his way to work when his caretaker called the restaurant, and the manager said he had been fired.
Cona Turner takes care of her brother, Dennis Peek.
“He is my baby brother; I got guardianship of him when my mom passed; he’s like my kid; he’s mine now,” said Turner.
Until Wednesday, Peek was a proud employee of more than 20 years at the Wendy’s on Highway 27 in Stanley.
“I love my job Wendy’s. I work here a long time,” said Peek.
Peek-washed tables and chairs. His family liked to stop in and see him at the restaurant.
But without warning Wednesday, Turner found out her brother had been fired from his job.
“She just terminated him, she said she had a job that needed to be done, and he wasn’t doing it,” said Turner.
Turner says she tried to talk with the manager but couldn’t get anywhere.
“I was very upset, I was very upset,” said Turner.
She posted about the ordeal on Facebook.
“It just melted my heart, I’m sorry, but I do appreciate all the support,” said Turner.
In the post, she says that managers have no idea how much they hurt her brother.
“It breaks my heart; it just breaks my heart,” said Turner.
Turner says someone from Wendy’s corporate contacted her because they saw her Facebook post.
Wendy’s offered Peek his job back, but Turner doesn’t know if they’ll accept.
“I will not let anybody mistreat my brother; I will not let them be mean to him,” said Turner.
Turner says there should be consequences for mistreating workers.
Queen City News received the following two statements from Carolina Restaurant Group, which owns and operates the Wendy’s in Stanley:
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.
Queen City News received the following response from Carolina Restaurant Group when we asked if the manager who fired Peek will be disciplined:
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.