The community of Marion, North Carolina had a Walmart employee’s back recently, when they found out he may be losing the job he held for 17 years, as a greeter.
Jay Melton, who has cerebral palsy, did lose that job, as part of the company’s recent mission to phase out “people greeters” as a way to expand their “customer host” roles. But he’s now set to assume a new role at the company. As announced on Facebook, he will now be in the position of self-checkout host.
It came on the heels of over 18,481 people signing a petition that showed support for Melton keeping his job, after news broke that Walmart was eliminating greeter roles — a move many believe unfairly targets disabled workers, specifically those who may use a wheelchair. The new positions offered to greeters require them to “clean up spills, collect carts and stand for long periods of time, among other things,” according to NPR.
Thankfully, Walmart listened to an impassioned community and did “the right thing by letting Jay stay,” according to one commenter on the Facebook post.
Still, while there was a happy ending for Melton regarding his employment, many other greeters were worried about how they will be affected by the change, which will go into place on April 26. One employee, Adam Catlin, who also has cerebral palsy, has performed the duties of a greeter at the Selinsgrove, Penn., Walmart for nine years. “Walmart is his heart,” said his sister, Amber Piermattei, to ABC affiliate WNEP. “His job is his driving force in life.”
While Walmart first told greeters they would have 60 days to find other jobs at the company, they have since extended the deadline indefinitely for those greeters with disabilities. “This allows these associates to continue their employment at the store as valued members of the team while we seek an acceptable, customized solution for all of those involved,” the company said in a statement.
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