Walmart Changes Will Force a Disabled Employee Out

For the past 10 years, Adam Catlin has worked as the store greeter at the Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania Walmart. Catlin has cerebral palsy which affects his ability to walk, lift, and even hold a pen. But, he was able to greet people, which was the primary function of his job.

However, according to store officials, on April 26, the job is changing–to include things that Catlin can’t do, like lift up to 25 pounds and be on his feet for a good portion of the day.

Illegal discrimination or simply a job change?

At first glance, this could look like a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Catlin has clearly been able to do the job successfully for the past 10 years. So, when the company comes back with a new job description that requires tasks that weren’t a part of the job before, it can look a little bit suspect.

To keep reading, click here: Walmart Changes Will Force a Disabled Employee Out

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14 thoughts on “Walmart Changes Will Force a Disabled Employee Out

  1. Disclaimer: I am an individual with a disability and receive workplace accommodations from my employer. This story is currently being covered by the national news media; it was on TV this morning as I was getting ready for work. Wal*Mart is an 800-pound gorilla and can do whatever it wants. However, I sincerely hope they will do the right thing and figure out a way to keep this long-term employee. They’ve had some negative press lately, and this will only add to that negativity. My local Wal*Mart has a few employees with disabilities. One young man is in a wheelchair, but has a custodial position, in which he wheels around, pushing a broom or a trashcan, etc. Obviously, I applaud hiring employees with disabilities who — nevertheless — with or without accommodations, can perform the essential functions of their jobs.

  2. I worked at a company that used disabled individuals in various jobs across the store. It was done as both a means of creating employment for certain job functions that were not high skilled but necessary for total operation of the store. The jobs gave the skilled workers more time to do their job. Unfortunately, what has happened over years in employment, “efficiency experts” claim that to trim labor dollars certain job positions can be removed by incorporating multiple functions such as in this article—the greeter position has been given more tasks from previous versions of the job. Besides adding more tasks to every worker, this eliminated positions for people who have limited job skills. I worked with a person who was okay for cleanup ( and they were not top notch in this, you had to consistently make sure they followed the right sanitation procedures. When labor dollars were cut because this person had seniority in years they could not be fired ( benefit/ hazard of a union job protection), sometimes the other co-workers have to do extra work as a work around ( creating a negative impact on workplace).
    Walmart is a basic retail company that works extremely hard to create a high bottom line profit, so they research every aspect of operation that keeps the labor dollars low—labor costs are the highest impact on that profit line. I know that they “claim “that they pay good wages but I highly question that all of their employees are as happy as shown in their commercials.
    They should have been more helpful for this individual whenever that job change occurred—developed a work around to accommodate especially since he was a long term employee, but this is the typical way Walmart eliminates jobs and there’s no law preventing them from doing this. It would have been nice if they gave him a servence package rather than just force him out of position.

    1. Having jobs that accommodate the disabled like that is a worthy ideal — but economics and common sense dictate that to be sustainable, jobs like that need to pay less than other jobs. Minimum wages prevent that — not as an undesired side effect, but by design (look up the campaign speeches when the minimum wage was being introduced in the 19-teens!)

      I agree that it’s a tragedy that this nice guy isn’t being allowed to keep its job. But I lay the blame at the feet of the Progressives, not Walmart.

      1. It is a tragedy when someone can’t keep their job because of a disability, because then they’re going to have to be supported by the taxpayers. I’d much rather Walmart pay for it than me.

        1. Unfortunately, some Wal*Mart employees still qualify for taxpayer-supported benefits — such as “welfare” (TANF) and “food stamps” (SNAP), so both Wal*Mart and we end up paying.

  3. The key here is being able to perform the essential functions of the job. Making extreme accommodations is not required. This is a for profit business.
    Not every store is going to want a greeter who is simply a pleasant person at the door. The idea that employees should be grandfathered into a function for what could be many decades is truly appalling. I don’t care if Walmart is huge. It is still their decision. Would you expect “grandfathering” or extreme accommodation (pushing a broom around on a wheelchair) from a small employer?

    1. I’m surprised your example of “extreme accommodation” is employing an individual in a wheelchair whose responsibility is to sweep the floor.

      It would be very hard for a company of any size (especially Walmart’s size) to argue that allowing someone to sit in a chair while sweeping the floor causes an undue hardship. I’m just saying….think critically about what you are arguing.

      1. Thank you. Every time I see the young custodian in the wheelchair — who is constantly in motion, working hard — I cannot help but think how very difficult it must be for him to spend hours propelling himself around in a manual wheelchair while using the other hand to do sweeping, mopping, pushing around trashcans, etc. He must be exhausted at the end of his shift. He’s the one making all the necessary adjustments — “accommodations” — not Wal*Mart; their only apparent “accommodation” was hiring him in the first place. If I owned a private business at which he could perform a service, I would snatch him up from Wal*Mart in an instant.

  4. A significant portion of Walmart’s floor personnel are eligible for public assistance because of the low wages paid by Walmart. Since taxpayers like me fund this public assistance (allowing Walmart bigwigs to enrich themselves even more), I think Walmart should listen to the public.

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