Wendy’s unrightfully fired a disabled man, so his sister took to social media.

Dennis Peek is nothing if not loyal. For more than 20 years, he has worked at a Wendy’s in Stanley, a town outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. His dream: to retire from that fast food restaurant one day.

However, his loyalty was not rewarded.

Why Wendy’s Fired an Employee With Down Syndrome

man with down syndrome smiling wearing a red tie
Photo by Mikhail Nilov

It was Peek’s sister, Cona Young Turner, who broke the news to social media in a post that has gathered 14,000 shares and 5,800 comments. She turned to Facebook on October 6, 2022 to share the unpleasant story of how her disabled brother was fired.

“My brother Dennis has worked at Wendy’s in Stanley for over 20 years and I am heart broken to say they have fired him!!!!!!!!” she wrote. “He was looking forward to a huge retirement party, we may just give him that party and tell him he was retired because he does not understand being fired.”

Just as bad as the firing was its reason.

Turner was told by the manager that the problem was Peek’s inability “to perform the duties of a normal [person’s] job.”

This rude comment is in reference to 51-year-old Peek’s Down Syndrome.

Carolina Restaurant Group, the company that owned and ran Wendy’s in Gaston County, released an official statement about Peek’s reported dismissal.

In short, the company said the incident was “a very unfortunate mistake and lapse in control,” and they insisted they were committed to providing employees with a safe and inclusive environment.

Thankfully, the story doesn’t end there.

What One Man’s Sister Did When He Was Let Go From His Job

Turner has continued to update her social media post to fill in all the viewers invested in Peek’s story.

The original post has been updated three times: In the first update, Turner shared that her brother was offered his job back.

In the second update, she shared a postal address for all the people who wanted to send cards and letters to Peek.

Peek’s face lit up with excitement when he saw all the gifts and mails he received.

“I thank God he got to live long enough to see people love him and treat him the way he deserves to be treated,” Turner said.

Lastly, she revealed that her brother would not return to Wendy’s. Instead, he will have the retirement party that he always wanted.

“He will be having his BIG RETIREMENT party that he has been wanting. Wendy’s has offered to help with expenses and anything else they can for his special day.”

Online, commentors flocked to the post to share how much it touched their hearts.

“I’m glad they have made many efforts to make it right! But congrats on your retirement Dennis!!! Have fun!!” one person wrote.

Though the story started out as a sad one, in the end Peek got what he really wanted: a retirement party. Not only that, but he also got the kindness of thousands of strangers showing him their support.


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