Applebee’s Forgot To Pay Prep Cook With Autism For A Whole Year

How can someone work part-time for a national chain restaurant for the better part of a year and not receive any pay? What happened to a young adult in Rhode Island was a unique situation where the employee worked in an unpaid training program through a state-funded nonprofit, then was supposed to be moved onto the payroll. Only he never was.

The 21-year-old’s parents say that he worked three days per week for most of the last year. A local nonprofit that works with people who have developmental disabilities placed him in an unpaid training program, then in a part-time job with the restaurant.

His parents kept checking back with the nonprofit that had placed him in the job, and filled out new pre-employment paperwork every few months. Finally, they took their concerns to a local TV station. Now there’s supposedly a check on its way. It’s amazing what happens when a TV station starts making phone calls.

The Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals is investigating what happened and how it’s possible that someone could work for months without pay, somehow escaping the notice of the restaurant, the nonprofit, and state government.

The family estimates that he has worked at least 350 hours in the last year, yet the restaurant’s records show that he worked only 166 hours. Helping with those records is supposed to be part of the duties of job coaches who work with developmentally disabled workers.

State investigating case of autistic man who wasn’t paid for hundreds of hours of work [WPRI]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.