Today On The Avenue we’re talking about a recent news story from NPR. They have reported that Walmart is in the process of eliminating their greeter position, and replacing it with a “customer host” position. This new title will carry a different set of tasks, responsibilities, and requirements, and while this shift in position may seem insignificant to many, it had a much deeper effect on Walmart employees with disabilities.
Because the greeter job was not physically strenuous and easy to learn, it was a particularly good fit for the disabled population trying to find a steady job. The new customer host position will require the worker to be able to lift up to 25 pounds, clean up spills, collect carts, and stand for extended periods of time. Many of these new tasks cannot be performed by an employee with disabilities due to different restrictions on movement and speech.
Walmart spokesperson Kory Lundberg responded to back lash with this comment,
“We recognize that our associates with physical disabilities face a unique situation. With that in mind, we will be extending the current 60-day greeter transition period for associates with disabilities while we explore the circumstances and potential accommodations, for each individual, that can be made within each store. This allows 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.”
A lawsuit has now been issued by greeters with disabilities who previously lost their jobs after demands changed.
To learn more about this story and its developments, you can find the full NPR article here.
Thank you for joining us On The Avenue today, and we’ll see you next time.