Sign in to comment!

Food & Drink

Applebee's franchise didn't pay Autistic man for nearly a year

applebees_ap.jpg

Applebee's has agreed to pay an autistic man for 480 hours of unpaid labor. (AP)

Applebee's officials say they will pay a Rhode Island man who worked at a restaurant for about a year and never received a paycheck.

Caleb Dyl has autism and was placed in the job by the social service agency Resources for Human Development. He started working as a prep-cook at the Middletown restaurant in August 2014, but the 21-year-old's parents say he never received a check.

Applebee's at first agreed to pay Dyl 166 hours, based on the agency's records. But his parents  Bob and Viki, say he actually worked about 480 hours. Now, WPRI-TV reports that the chain's New England regional director of operations says the restaurant has agreed to pay Dyl for 480 hours.

Dyl parents have quietly been trying to resolve the issue that has dragged on for months while they sent inquiries and filled out payroll and tax forms twice. They said the Resources for Human Development has provided extraordinary services for their son and they wanted to make clear that Applebee’s had no idea that there was a problem and only found out about the issue when a reporter called with questions.

They decided to go to the media with the story because they wanted to make sure this didn't happen to other people.

“Somewhere there was a communications breakdown between the people supporting [Caleb] and Applebee’s themselves,” Viki Dyl told WPRI. “That’s what we want to make sure that doesn’t happen. Our first thought was ‘how many other people are in this situation?’”

The state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals says it is still investigating.

But some on social media are expressing anger and frustration --with some calling for a boycott.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 17 percent of disabled Americans were steadily employed in some capacity last year but theree is no minimum wage standard for those with disabilities in America.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.