Father Of Baby With Down Syndrome Fired After Asking Coworkers Not To Say 'Retard'

| by Alexander Rubinstein

A woman is using social media to express her frustration over why her partner was fired from his job at a Chili’s restaurant.

Crista Miller says her fiance Bruce Casper was fired from the Pittsburgh Mills Mall’s Chili’s restaurant after he complained to management that his coworkers were using offensive language.

Miller and Casper have three children together, the youngest of whom, 16-month-old Kyron, has Down syndrome. Miller and Casper plan to marry later this month.

According to the National Down Syndrome Society, every cell in the human body has a nucleus that stores genetic material in genes. Genes carry the codes that are responsible for inherited traits, grouped into structures called chromosomes. Each nucleus typically holds 23 pairs of chromosomes, half from each parent. Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21, which alters the course of development. Only 1 percent of cases have a hereditary component that was passed from parent to child through genes.

One in every 691 babies in the U.S. is born with the genetic condition, making it the most common genetic disorder. Approximately 400,000 Americans have Down syndrome and 6,000 babies are born with it each year. Individuals with the disorder experience varying degrees of cognitive delays, ranging from mild to severe.

Miller alleged on Facebook that two female employees called Casper a “retard.” She says he made his son’s condition clear and said that he would not put up with the offensive language. Casper was subsequently told “you can leave then,” which he did.

“One of the managers has used the word ‘retarded’ just in conversation, which is completely inappropriate,” Miller said. “Not only for Kyron, but for all kids with special needs, whether it’s Down syndrome or something else. There’s a right and there’s a wrong, and this is wrong.” She said that the word "retard" is derogatory and is “simply not acceptable.”

“This is certainly not the behavior we condone in our restaurants, and we take allegations like this very seriously and we are investigating,” a spokeswoman for Chili’s Restaurants said, in part, during a prepared statement, reported CBS Pittsburgh.

Casper was offered another job at a different Chili’s restaurant but has said he doesn’t feel comfortable working for the company.

Sources: National Down Syndrome Society, CBS Pittsburgh

Photo Source: Mike Mozart/Flickr