Autistic Man Works At Applebee’s For A Year, Never Gets Paid

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
Font Size:

A Portsmouth, R.I., man with autism worked as a prep cook at a nearby Applebee’s for about a year and received no paycheck.

Caleb Dyl, 21, got the job through a work training program run by the state funded Resources For Human Development (RHD), he worked there part-time three days a week, four hours each day, WPRI reports. During the job training program, Caleb was identified as a productive worker, with one employee saying they were lucky to have him. He started working at the Middletown, R.I. restaurant in August 2014.

“We were told by RHD that Applebee’s was going to hire him, and he was going to get paid,” said Caleb’s father Bob Dyl.

Applebee’s regional director of operations Eleanor Clancy said the company found out about this discrepancy only after being contacting by WPRI. Bob Dyl said he had contacted RHD many times regarding his son’s missing paycheck.

“RHD never contacted us,” said Clancy. “The first we heard of this was when you [WPRI] called. But this is on us. We obviously feel terrible.”

Applebee’s is now sending Caleb a check for 166 hours, but Caleb’s family says he worked closer to 350 hours, despite missing work for two months due to various reasons. If Caleb worked 12 hours a week, getting paid for 166 hours would be only about 13 weeks of work, while he was there for almost a year and left the restaurant this past July. According to Clancy, he never clocked in, thus making it difficult to figure out the right amount of pay owed to him.

Resources For Human Development gets funding from the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals. A spokeswoman from the agency said if he wasn’t getting paid, RHD should have reached out to them, and that she has no records of this occurring.

WPRI contacted RHD many times during its investigation only to be told due to confidentiality rules it cannot comment on Caleb’s case.