Thursday, 23 May 2019
Latest news
Main » Walmart draws criticism as it replaces disabled 'greeters' with 'customer hosts'

Walmart draws criticism as it replaces disabled 'greeters' with 'customer hosts'

09 March 2019

The responsibilities of these door greeters are nothing more than, as the name of the position implies, warmly greeting customers as they enter Walmart locations and welcoming them to the world's largest supermarket chain.

"Walmart has made a decision to change its "greeters" into "customer hosts".

Walmart recently announced it would soon replace "people greeters" with "customer hosts" at about 1,000 stores across the country.

This new Customer Host role will apparently require a different skill set, including handling customer refunds, scanning receipts, and checking shopping carts. During this period, those associates continue to work in their current role.

"Let me be clear: If any associate in this unique situation wants to continue working at Walmart, we should make every effort to make that happen", Foran wrote. After more than a week of backlash, Greg Foran, president and CEO of Walmart's USA stores, said in a memo to store managers Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, that "we are taking some specific steps to support" greeters with disabilities. Melton, whose family had spoken out about his impending job loss, will work at self-checkout, Walmart said.

People with disabilities who have traditionally filled the greeter job at many stores accused Walmart of acting heartlessly.

And so Walmart has an obligation under the ADA to transfer its existing greeters with disabilities to other jobs for which they're qualified, if they're unable to perform the job with the new requirements, said University of MI law professor Samuel Bagenstos.

In response to the growing criticism, Walmart president and CEO Greg Foran issued a statement where he said the company is taking "specific steps" to address the concerns of the disabled community.

"On the one hand it is a good sign that [Walmart is] putting out a letter recommitting their desire to be a good workplace for people with disabilities", said Katie Eyer, professor of anti-discrimination law at Rutgers. But after a meeting with Walmart officials, Adam was offered the new position.

With the USA unemployment rate for disabled people more than twice that for workers without disabilities, Walmart has always been seen as a destination for people like Combs. Advocacy groups worry the company is backsliding.

According to his daughter, Laura Murphy, Spencer has a college degree, but being 90 percent deaf has made finding a job hard, until he found his position at Walmart. "His job is his driving force in life".

"This is the longest he's worked anywhere", Murphy said.

"I'm going to be sitting by the self-checkout, promoting the self-checkout and saying hi to the people", Adam said. "I don't want to get Nathan's hopes up and in six months, they're going to do this all over again".

For one Marion, North Carolina Walmart greeter- that's exactly what's happening.

The Americans With Disabilities Act does not preclude companies from changing their job descriptions and requirements as they see fit for their business goals.

Walmart draws criticism as it replaces disabled 'greeters' with 'customer hosts'