Walmart employees with disabilities are losing their jobs nationwide as the company phases out its greeter position.
Walmart announced it is eliminating its greeter role by the end of April. Instead a customer host will be stationed at the doors. The role is intended to provide more security at the front door, which includes checking receipts. But physical demands of the host position include collecting carts, being able to lift 25 pounds, and standing for long periods of time. The new requirements have eliminated many people with disabilities who have thrived as greeters.
Kristi Branstetter is a Garden Center Associate and leader with United 4Respect, a network that says it represents more than 150,000 Walmart associates.
“You know, [greeters] are familiar faces at Walmart,” she stated. “It’s not right, you know, to take away these people’s livelihoods.”
The new host program first launched in 1,000 stores in 2016. It was developed as a business decision to increase store security. But Branstetter says the changes make little sense to employees. Only asset protection associates or managers can make a legal stop.
“[Hosts] still can’t chase shoplifters. You know, somebody walks out that door, they’re gone,” she said.
Walmart said it offers all associates a 60-day window to apply for new positions in the store and it will extend that window for associates with disabilities coming out of the greeter position.