Wendy's manager says 'most' Wareham job applicants are 'recovering addicts'

Wendy?€™s manager says 'most' Wareham job applicants are 'recovering addicts'

WAREHAM, Mass. — A Wareham resident said an email he received from a Wendy's district manager was offensive to everyone in his tight-knit community.

Matthew Rose emailed Wendy's corporate office earlier this month. He wanted to make the fast food chain aware of multiple poor customer service experiences he said he had at the company's restaurant on Cranberry Highway.

"I've had issues here for months," Rose told Boston 25 News.

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Rose said the response he received was offensive.

The email from a Wendy's district manager read, in part, "Not an excuse but the town of Wareham has little to no talent pool to hire from."

The email continued, "We are constantly interviewing and hiring any and all qualified candidates. Unfortunately those candidates are hard to come by, as most are recovering addicts, and we cannot hire them."

"Not everybody who has a drug problem is a criminal," Rose said. "If you're recovering, that means you're trying to do the right thing, you're trying to get back on track. There's no reason they can't hire a recovering addict."

Boston 25 News showed the email to Wareham Town Administrator Derek Sullivan.

"Frankly I was shocked and disappointed a respected company like Wendy's would openly disparage our entire community," Sullivan said. "What we don't do is denigrate and throw away those with addiction issues. We get them help."

Wendy's sent Boston 25 News this statement:

"These comments are inconsistent with our Company's values and do not reflect Wendy's hiring practices. We work hard to create a welcoming and inclusive environment in our restaurants, and will address this appropriately."

"We understand that [Wendy's] had a response and actually, we'd like them to see the community still, come down here and look who's supporting them as a business," Sullivan said.

Rose said he wasn't impressed with Wendy's response.

"To me it's a very canned response, something you'd expect to hear," Rose said. "I really think they need to address the issue in a more personalized manner with the town."

Boston 25 News has asked Wendy's if it's company policy not to hire people who are recovering from drug addiction.

Boston 25 News learned Tuesday afternoon that the district manager is now suspended pending an internal investigation.