What Happened When Someone Complained That This Worker With Down Syndrome Was a Restaurant Health Hazard

Brotherly love knows no bounds, especially in the face of discrimination.

This unbreakable bond comes through in a viral Facebook post by a Tennessee man named Alex Ankar, whose younger brother Andrew works at a Chattanooga restaurant started by their late father.

Andrew, who has Down syndrome, has remained a tireless full-time staffer at Ankar's Hoagies since finishing high school three years ago.

Alex Ankar Facebook

Though Andrew has been a beloved member of the Ankar's Hoagies staff for years, someone recently reported the restaurant for having an "unauthorized person in the kitchen that shouldn't be around the food prep area," Andrew's mother Judy Ankar told ABC affiliate station News Channel 9. According to Judy, the health inspector said that the person who filed the complaint specifically mentioned that the "unauthorized person" had a disability. This upset Judy and Andrew's brother, Alex.

Alex responded in an emotional Facebook post about Andrew's many contributions to the restaurant.

He explained that his brother helps to run the business now that their father is gone.


"When I learned that someone had the audacity to file a report with the local health inspector over an adult with Down syndrome being in the kitchen of a restaurant that he is not just employed at, but that he owns, I was floored," Alex wrote. "It makes my blood boil that there are people in this world who don't have an ounce of kindness in their heart to appreciate what an amazing person he is. The fact that there are people out there in this world that view people with disabilities as sub-human disgusts me."

Alex added that he has been very moved by his brother's ability to "love everyone," even those who "aren't deserving of his kindness."

"He knows no hate. If the people out there who constantly ridicule people with disabilities had even half of Andrew's capability to love EVERYONE, this world would be a better place. I challenge every single person who reads this to take a minute to put all differences aside. Whether it's ability, race, sexual orientation, religion, whatever - try to put your differences aside and love one another. Trust me, the world would be a much better place if everyone had Andrew's ability. He's not the disabled one, we are."

ATTN: has reached out to Alex with further questions about the post and will update this piece if he responds.

Alex's post has been shared more than 13,000 times and received ample celebration on Facebook, with many people showing support for the restaurant and Andrew's work.


News Channel 9 reporter Hannah Lawrence tweeted that the inspector found no health violations at the restaurant:

"I even told the inspector- I said this kid owns the place[,] he's an employee here," Judy told News Channel 9. "If you are talking about my son, this is his place. His father left it to him."

For those with a disability, maintaining work is a big deal.

Holding a full-time job is a major accomplishment for people with special needs. A 2014 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that less than 20 percent of people with a disability were employed. The unemployment rate of people with a disability was 12.5 percent from 2013 to 2014, and the unemployment rate for those without a disability was 5.9 percent.

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