"Costly" Employee Gets Job Back, Along With A Raise
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 24, 2003
CALGARY, ALBERTA--Stephen Whiteside will get back his job at a Calgary book store. . . along with a hefty raise, following two weeks of public outcry against his employer.
Whiteside, who has Down syndrome, worked for the last five years stacking books and magazines for 12 hours a week at Chapters, Canada's largest book chain.
Two weeks ago, Chapters officials told Whiteside's mother that his $3 an hour salary was adversely affecting their bottom line and that they had to let him go. Another man with a disability was also fired.
After two weeks of pressure from the public, the store announced Thursday that it would rehire both men, this time at the minimum wage of $5.90 an hour, the CBC News reported.
A company spokesperson said that firing the two men was an error.
"It was, to say the least, an unfortunate decision and one that we certainly feel here was a mistake," Tracy Nesdoly said. "So we're trying to do everything we can do to make this right by the two gentlemen involved."
Whiteside seemed glad to be returning to work.
"I like working there so much," he said.