A long-time Wendy’s employee with Down syndrome who was fired for allegedly not being able to do his job like a “normal” person has a new job on the force.
North Carolina-based Dennis Peek, 51, will get to live his dream of becoming a police officer, thanks to the force in the nearby town of Mount Holly who saw Peek’s viral story of devoting two decades of his life to the fast food chain, TMZ reported.
The Mount Holly Police Department decided to enlist Peek as an officer for the day, swearing him in on Thursday with a uniform and hat, the news outlet reported. Peek will also get to ride in a police car and report for duty, checking in on local businesses, according to TMZ.
Peek previously worked at a Wendy’s in Stanley, N.C., outside of Charlotte. However, he was abruptly let go from the chain, his sister, Cona Young Turner wrote on Facebook last week, alleging her brother was fired on the basis of his disability.
“I am heartbroken to say they fired him,” Young Turner posted on Facebook on Oct. 5. “They told me was unable to perform the duties of a normal persons job.”
“His dream was to retire from there some day and he was looking forward to a huge retirement party, we may just give him that party and tell him he has retired because he does not understand being fired,” she wrote.
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“They have no idea how they hurt my brother!” she wrote in the Post.
Young Turner and her family didn’t have the heart to tell Peek he was fired; instead, they told him he was retiring, according to TMZ.
After Young Turner posted about her brother’s termination on Facebook, she got a call from Carolina Restaurant Group, which owns the Wendy’s Peek worked at, saying that he could be reinstated.
“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,” Carolina Restaurant Group said in a statement, according to WSOC.
But it appears that Peek will be getting a retirement party from his hometown, Stanley, on Nov. 5, according to a Facebook post. Peek will also be given a key to the city and a plaque, TMZ reported.
Wendy’s did not immediately return a request for comment.
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