FREEPORT, ILLINOIS — Walmart Corp. recently announced its plans to eliminate the role of people-greeter and, in select stores, replace the position with a customer host to assist shoppers in a more physically demanding way, such as handling customer refunds, scanning receipts, and checking shopping carts.
The news that Walmart may no longer have its smiling happy face greeting us as we enter their stores has had a lot of people not only concerned about their jobs, but concerned over employees with disabilities. Walmart has a long-standing history of not only being an employer of people with disabilities, but of being an employer of choice for those with disabilities.
In a statement released by President & CEO, Walmart U.S., Greg Foran, he states this change in position of People Greeter to Customer Host has created some conversation both externally and internally, specifically where associates with disabilities are concerned.
“In terms of the associates with disabilities who are transitioning out of the People Greeter position, we recognize these people face a unique situation. And because not all disabilities are the same, each case requires a thoughtful solution.”
While the list of stores eliminating the role of people-greeter has not been officially announced, Foran stressed in his letter to all store managers they are to “make every effort” that if any associate in this unique situation wants to continue working at Walmart store managers should “make that happen”.
Whenever a position is changed in Walmart, the company provides all associates with a 60-day window to apply for other roles within the store. During this period, those associates continue to work in their current role.
Foran says for that reason, Walmart is looking into each person on an individual basis with the goal of offering appropriate accommodations that will enable the associates to continue in other roles with their store.
“With that in mind, for associates with disabilities impacted by the changes to the Greeter position, we have extended the current 60-day transition period while we explore the circumstances and potential accommodations that will make sense for each person.”
As for the Freeport Walmart Greeter position, the local store was unable to comment about the specifics when we spoke with a manager this morning.
We have a call in to Walmart corporate to obtain more details of how this company change, might affect the positions of a few local people. Local people that our community at least, has certainly grown to love and appreciate over the years.
“We are confident that we are taking the right steps to do what is necessary for the business, while also treating affected associates with the respect and assistance they deserve as they transition to new opportunities.”
We’ll keep you updated.