Economy

Walmart Phasing Out Door Greeters In Favor Of Customer Hosts

Walmart Phasing Out Door Greeters In Favor Of Customer Hosts

Curt Decker, executive director of the National Disability Rights Network, said he'll be watching whether Walmart follows through on its promise to make accommodations for greeters with disabilities. The practice was started by Walmart founder Sam Walton and later picked up by other stores in the chain until it became the norm for all stores in the United States and Canada.

Walmart told greeters around the country last week that their positions were being eliminated in late April in favor of an expanded "customer host" role that involves not only welcoming customers, but helping with returns, checking receipts to help prevent shoplifting and keeping the front of the store clean.

The retail giant says it is moving forward with a new role called "customer host" that is more physically demanding. "For that reason, we are looking into each one on an individual basis with the goal of offering appropriate accommodations that will enable these associates to continue in other roles with their store", Foran wrote in a letter to store managers late Thursday. During this period, those associates continue to work in their current role. 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.

The news has been hard for 42-year-old John Combs of Vancouver, Washington, who has cerebral palsy, the AP reported.

In a statement from Walmart, FOX 46 was told stores have already made offers to some greeters- including those with physical disabilities.

Walmart has received nationwide backlash after announcing plans to eliminate front-door greeter positions by April 25.

"I never make these lightly", Walmart CEO Greg Foran said Thursday in a note to store managers.

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"He has accepted the position and he's so very excited to be able to continue working at Walmart", she told the publication.

With the US 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. "His job is his driving force in life".

"It's just overwhelming the number of people who have gone online and signed the petition and stuff", he said.

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

"Part of me is afraid that ... they're going through the motions to appease people now, but eventually, down the road the results will be the same", Fogarty said. It did not reveal how many of them were disabled. "I think they're really going to make an effort and try to keep these people".

Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg told The McDowell News that Melton will work the same hours and get paid similar to what he earned as a greeter.

"I read [the CEO letter] very much as a sop", Bagenstos said, "both to public relations and the law".