Waving Goodbye to Walmart Greeters? Hello, ADA Challenges
by: The Knowledge Group
On April 25, front-door greeters will be out of their jobs at about 1,000 U.S. Walmart stores, unless they are physically able to handle more demanding job duties.
The new “customer host” position will include duties such as security, cart retrieval, or customer assistance (lifting up to 25 lbs. and working with ladders required), and cleanup.
Walmart acknowledged to NPR that the change would affect workers with disabilities.
NPR has reported on several formal complaints and a lawsuit by greeters with disabilities who have already been displaced.
The Americans With Disabilities Act permits job functions to change along with business goals. Yet there are still responsibilities to “reasonably” assist disabled employees when they change.
And this story law intersects with human compassion, as a greeter’s story plays out in the court of social media, with a public outcry having its effects in getting Walmart to understand the human impact of the plans. Indeed, the legal implications will likely hinge on each store’s response to individual greeters.
There are more questions, too, such as how to invest in current employees’ success, or discrimination at the hiring phase.
In 2001, Walmart agreed to a $6.8 million consent decree settling 13 ADA cases nationwide, related to disability queries in a “pre-employment questionnaire.”
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