Retail

Workers with disabilities feel targeted after Walmart changes job requirements, report says

Key Points
  • Walmart is changing its job requirements for front-door greeters in a way that will likely disproportionately affect workers with disabilities, according to a report by NPR. 
  • The company reportedly plans to remove 1,000 greeter positions.
  • Greeters with disabilities said they are expecting to lose their jobs on April 25 or 26.
An employee scans a customer's purchases at a Walmart Inc. store in Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S., on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. 
Timothy Fadek | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Walmart is changing its job requirements for front-door greeters in a way that will likely disproportionately affect workers with disabilities, according to a report by NPR.

The company reportedly plans to remove 1,000 greeter positions. Greeters with disabilities told the outlet they are expecting to lose their jobs on April 25 or 26.

The removal of greeter positions is making way for the company's new position of "customer hosts," which ups the physical job requirements. Workers must be able to lift up to 25 pounds, collect carts, and stand for long periods of time, according to NPR, which can be difficult for workers with disabilities or elderly employees.

The change is part of a 2016 plan and will be implemented by the end of April. It has reportedly already impacted 1,000 stores.

One Walmart employee said he's facing job loss after 10 years with the company, since he has trouble lifting the 25-pound requirement.

A spokesman for Walmart told CNBC on Tuesday that they will be extending the transition period for employees with disabilities.

"We've recently shared our plans to change the responsibilities of the people greeter role in some stores and that involves associates with disabilities in some cases," said spokesman Justin Rushing. "We recognize that our associates with physical disabilities face a unique situation. With that in mind, we will be extending the current 60-day greeter transition period for associates with disabilities while we explore the circumstances and potential accommodations, for each individual, that can be made within each store. This allows these associates 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."

NPR reported that several people are filing complaints against Walmart with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission along with one lawsuit. Reportedly all have been filed by employees with disabilities who lost jobs due to the requirement change.

The Americans With Disabilities Act allows for companies to change their job requirements but companies still have to make reasonable accommodations for workers on an individual basis.

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