Walmart's move from "hospitable people" to "customers" threatens the work of the disabled man

A commercial decision made by the country's largest retailer, which has been well accepted by customers across the country, can have the nasty effect of causing a man in Snyder County to lose his job.

And for Adam Catlin and the clients he has welcomed over the last 10 years with a big "hello", it's not an old job in an ever-changing economy. Working at the entrance of the Walmart in Selinsgrove, Snyder County, has become the professional sun around which his universe orbits.

You seem Adam, aged 30, has cerebral palsy.

This state of health and its complications left him, according to his family, unable to walk without a walker, lacking fine motor skills with the hands and blind in the sense of the law.

But he can smile and cheer people up as if no one was doing it, so his job as a receptionist – whom Adam has just been after graduating from Midd-West High School – has made him a kind superstar. in this river town about 60 miles north of Harrisburg.

"Adam is Walmart," Angela Frampton, a client, wrote Tuesday afternoon on Facebook.

She is one of many people who have adopted social media after Catlin's mother, Holly, posted an open letter stating that her son, on Saturday, had received during his shift informing him that his position as " Attendant "will assume new responsibilities, effective April 26. that the family believes Adam will not be able to do.

Holly Catlin wrote that she feared that something that counts so much for her son and that in all respects worked well could be carried away.

"I do not want him to lose his job," Holly said in a phone interview with PennLive from their home in Kreamer. "It's his social circle; he loves all the people there … and he just likes to do something and feel useful. "

Holly Catlin said how much Adam did not even take his days off.

It's not a one-way street.

Adam's employers and Walmart buyers also appreciate it.

When he won a gold medal at the bench press at the Special Olympics in 2016, the Selinsgrove store placed a large poster honoring Adam in the lobby. Colleagues recalled that, during the renovation of the store several years ago, it was Adam who had been chosen to cut the ribbon for the grand reopening.

"He can not go anywhere else in public without the kids pointing at him and saying," This is Adam! "Said Holly Catlin.

That's why there are so many concerns and alarms about Adam's immediate future.

"If you have a bad day and you come in, he spends the day on your side," said client Shannon Walters of Herndon at WNEP, a subsidiary of ABC, in one of the many news broadcasts prompted by Holly Catlin's message. "We go every week and I can not wait to see it."


Walmart is not trying to be a bad guy in this area. These are just business.

In 2016, the company announced that it was transforming its traditional gateway jobs into hosted hosting positions, described as "a partner who greets customers, but also checks receipts, helps with returns and helps keep entries clean and safe. "

The hosts were initially used in approximately 1,000 stores nationwide, but in the last two years, spokesman Kory Lundberg said, the concept has been introduced in more and more stores.

Mark Ibbotson, Senior Vice President of Central Operations, explained in a corporate statement released in 2016: "We use data related to security, safety and risk of loss (theft at the airport"). Display) to guide us on the best way to manage our entries. When our data indicates that the risk is higher, we add the new client host. "

According to information received by Catlins, its expanded role requires an extended standing position (Adam sits for most of his shift), the ability to lift and move 25-kg packages, check receipts, write reports and assist in product loss investigations. .

No data was immediately available Tuesday night on the trend of shoplifting at Selinsgrove Walmart, which is covered by the Pennsylvania State Police.

But apparently, the time of the change of host came to Selinsgrove.

In most cases, says the chain, the affected people have either been able to fill the host jobs for an increase, or to accept another job in the store. It will not be so easy for Adam, who in a telephone interview on Tuesday struggled to think of other jobs in the store that he could physically handle.

Some disability advocates believe that Catlin and their friends can avoid the worst.

Theotis Braddy, president and CEO of the Harrisburg-based Center for Independent Living of Central PA, said that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are required to take "reasonable accommodations" to help a qualified disabled person to work.

"That's what ADA wants the employer to do," Braddy said. "They do not want them to write a person outside of work, especially when she's been here for years."

Braddy said that what should happen is that Adam and his managers discuss new tasks he can take on, that he may need help with and that the store could assign to other colleagues.

"A person the size of Walmart should be able to afford adjustments to work and allow him to continue working," Braddy said.

The family says its main hope is even easier: that Walmart plans to grant grandfather status that would protect the status quo for employees with disabilities like Adam, faithful and loyal.

The Catlins were encouraged by the support and encouragement of Adam's friends and fines from his mother's post on Monday afternoon, including at least one contact from a lawyer who offered his services as part of a potential action of discrimination at work.

Holly Catlin pointed out Tuesday that she did not want that.

She just wants the little world her handicapped son worked so hard to carve is preserved.

Adam, for his part, remains optimistic. This is exactly what one can expect from a good people.

"I love my job and the people who arrive," he told PennLive Tuesday night. And I also love my colleagues very much. I have made many good friends over the years, so I really hope to be able to keep my job April 26th. "

For mom, it's a little harder.

"Over the years, I have learned that if you do not fight for your child, they will walk everywhere," said Holly Catlin, who assists her son in his daily activities such as washing, shaving and shaving. dress. "His work gives him so much self-confidence … I do not want a big mess, I just want his job."

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