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This Woman Says Her Brother Was Fired From McDonald's Because He's Autistic

The branch told BuzzFeed News that they are looking into the matter.

Originally posted on
Updated on

On Saturday, 21-year-old Angelica Selena Martinez from Miami shared a story about her brother's experience of working at McDonald's.

my brother was fired from mcdonald's slowly based off discrimination. he has mild autism and was super excited abou… https://t.co/eByjfrwTiv

According to the tweet, her brother Alex was fired from his job due to having "shaky" hands when anxious. Alex is autistic. The tweet went viral, and has since been retweeted over 75,000 times.

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Alex, 19, told BuzzFeed News the McDonald's branch in question had been aware of his autism prior to employing him.

“I went in on Monday morning for an interview," he said. "I gave them my résumé that said I was autistic. I didn’t work anywhere before so this would be my first job. She told me to come back Tuesday to start training. On the fourth day, they sent me home early and said, 'Don’t worry you’re not fired.'

"I invited my social worker to meet my supervisor and she came to see her. But my supervisor wasn't available. My social worker told me she was never able to speak to my supervisor again because my supervisor was never available. And whenever she would call to speak to my supervisor she was hung up on."

According to Alex, the branch didn't directly tell him he was fired, and that he heard about it through his grandma the day before he thought he was going to return to work.

“I really tried to have a job since I didn’t want to stay home and always ask my mom for money," he said. "I had to take two buses to get to my job. I was on time every day and sometimes there even before I had to start.

"I did nothing wrong — I was always careful while handling change, my registers always had the right money. 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.”

In response to the tweet, people on Twitter have been sending Alex words of encouragement and contacting McDonald's.

@kiniii_ @McDonalds Alright sis, say no more.

@kiniii_ @McDonalds This literally breaks my heart .Your brother can do anything he wants to in this world . McDon… https://t.co/z4zj96ILKI

@kiniii_ Tell your brother that McDonald’s didn’t deserve someone as great as him. I have anxiety and when I get ne… https://t.co/EBUWlgFKFY

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Some even used the hashtag #JusticeForAlex to raise awareness of the case.

As someone who has Aspergers, this is absolutely disgusting! I've been a loyal customer to @McDonalds for almost my… https://t.co/RlVIGcj2GN

PEOPLE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM ARE HUMAN. PEOPLE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM CAN BE SMART, CAPABLE & HIGH-FUNCTIONING W… https://t.co/q2oPZFHrfv

#JUSTICEFORALEX no one, no matter how big or little there disibility is shouldn’t be treated like that. Zero respec… https://t.co/jjlfI3obxZ

"They have every right to be working members of society, and should NOT be discriminated against due to their disability," she said. "We feel very humbled to be reached out to and have our voice heard."

BuzzFeed News reached out to McDonald's regarding Alex's case. The owner/operator of the branch in question, Anthony Greenwood Sr. provided the following comment.

“We have investigated these claims made on social media regarding an employee of my restaurant and 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.”

Contact Ikran Dahir at ikran.dahir@buzzfeed.com.

Rachael Krishna is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rachael Krishna at rachael.krishna@buzzfeed.com.

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