Dad of Special Needs Child Fired After Asking Co-Workers to Stop Using the R-Word

chili's

Up until today, I considered Chili's a decent restaurant as far as chains go. That's before I heard that the staff at one establishment used the R-word freely ... then fired a dad with a special needs child who asked them to stop.

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Here's what went down: Bruce Casper, who worked at a Chili’s in the Pittsburgh Mills Mall, was called a "retard" by two employees. When he revealed that his son had Down syndrome and asked them to refrain from using that word, the manager did not back him up. Instead, he was told, "you can leave then."

So leave he did.

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And I totally get it: The R word is probably the equivalent for special needs individuals as the N word is for African Americans. I can see how some restaurant worker might jokingly call someone "retarded" for, say, burning the jalepeño poppers and mean no harm by it. But then if an employee says "please stop, my son has Down syndrome," you'd hope that any person with a sensitive bone in his body would stop using that word. After all, it's a reasonable and acceptable request to make!

Plus, you'd also hope that any restaurant manager would discourage its use as well ... not fire the guy who's asking everyone to show a little restraint!

Since then, Bruce has been offered a job at a different Chili's, which he declined. And I don't blame him, since that misses the larger issue here: The manager who fired Bruce should be fired himself! Anyone this insensitive does not deserve to run a restaurant. And until that happens, I plan to boycott Chili's in protest, and hope you will, too.

How do you feel about anyone using the R-word?

 

Image via Ken Wolter/shutterstock

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