News Article Details

He can't 'meet the requirements,' so NC Walmart greeter with a disability may lose job

News & Observer - 2/26/2019

Feb. 25-- Feb. 25--A Walmart greeter in North Carolina "always welcomed customers with a smile and a friendly hello," according to The McDowell News. As his store replaces him, thousands of people have shown support for keeping him on the job.

Jay Melton has worked 17 years at the Walmart in Marion, about 40 miles west of Asheville, The McDowell News reports. He "has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair," the newspaper wrote.

The store is replacing the greeter job with a "customer host," Walmart said in an emailed statement. The new position has more duties, including helping with returns and checking receipts, according to a company blog post.

"Because of his cerebral palsy, Melton doesn't meet the requirements to apply for the customer host position replacing his greeter job," WLOS reports. The store also doesn't have another job he can do, according to the station.

Walmart says its workers "with disabilities with physical limitations face a unique situation." The company it has added to its "60-day transition period" to examine options for those employees, according to its statement.

"This allows associates like Jay 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 statement said.

In the meantime, an online petition that supports Melton keeping his job has more than 5,900 signatures.. The page's description says Melton may not have a job after his position changes.

"Jay has been a special part of my Walmart experience since I can remember," Rachel M. wrote on the petition page. "Greeting him is especially wonderful after a Tar Heel victory in basketball!"

A person using the name Timothy H. wrote the following comment: "This man DESERVES to keep his job! If his exact job is not available, find a job for him that he can do. He is an excellent worker and a positive benefit for WalMart customers. It is not right to treat people this way. WalMart will lose customers by treating Jay so unfairly."

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