On Saturday, Angelica Selena Martinez, a 21-year-old from Miami, claimed that a local McDonald’s branch fired her 19-year-old brother, Alex, who has autism, for his “shaky” hands.
“My brother was fired from McDonald’s [solely] based off discrimination,” Angelica wrote on Twitter, which has since gotten more than 79,000 retweets.
Alex says that the fast food chain was aware of his condition before he was hired and that this was his first job.
“[The hiring manager] told me to come back Tuesday to start training,” Alex tells BuzzFeed News. “On the fourth day, they sent me home early and said, ‘Don’t worry you’re not fired.’ ”
But the day before he was supposed to return to work, Alex’s grandma told him that he was let go. (The branch reached out to her, rather than to Alex directly.) Alex’s social worker tried to meet with a McDonald’s supervisor, but they were unavailable and would not answer phone calls.
“I did nothing wrong — I was always careful while handling change, my registers always had the right money,” Alex says. “I don’t like that they didn’t tell me personally. I feel like they weren’t treating me like a normal human being and made me feel like I was inadequate and worthless. I still haven’t gotten paid for the time I worked and they still haven’t told me when I will get paid. I just don’t understand.”
Angelica’s tweet has drawn support for Alex on social media.
Meanwhile, the owner of the McDonald’s branch, Anthony Greenwood Sr., wrote in a statement to BuzzFeed: “I am working with my restaurant team to fully understand the situation. At my restaurant we have a long standing history of creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace. I am committed to providing training and development opportunities for all and value the contributions of all members of my crew.”