February 21, 2019
A Central Pennsylvania man with cerebral palsy is struggling to keep his long-held job at a local Walmart, where new company policies are threatening to push him out.
Adam Catlin, 30, has been a greeter at the Walmart in Selinsgove, located along the Susquehanna River in Snyder County, since he was in high school. His responsibility for years has been to give customers an enthusiastic welcome, but that he is legally blind and relies on a walker have naturally limited his capacity to perform more strenuous tasks.
On Monday, Catlin's mother, Holly Catlin, took her disappointment and frustration to Facebook, sharing her son's story and encouraging Walmart customers to contact the company on behalf of Adam and others like him.
Beginning in April, Walmart's new policies will require that employees like Adam, who has worked at the store for 10 years, be able to lift and carry 25 pounds, write reports and complete other responsibilities that Adam cannot reasonably carry out.
The new position, redefined as "host" rather than greeter, also requires Adam Catlin to submit another application and demonstrate that he can handle the position.
Holly Catlin described her son's dedication and work ethic in her post:
You all know that Adam loves his job sooo much and does it with his whole heart. He looks forward to you and your families, especially your kiddos. He seems to know them all by name. He has always, always, had outstanding reviews and truly loves his work family, coworkers and all of management alike. He beams from ear to ear when he speaks of his co-workers and management. They are his family in his eyes. When one of them experiences a hurt, I can tell he hurts for them.
His mother also wrote that Adam has always been eligible to collect SSI benefits and not work, but she said he has a "strong desire to work and support himself."
A Walmart spokesman told KTLA5 that Walmart is seeking a solution to keep Adam in the store. Two other disabled workers, one in Illinois and the other in South Carolina, also reportedly are dealing with the same situation. Another greeter nearby in East Stroudsburg said his disability cost him his job in 2016.
Federal law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to workers with disabilities and to engage with them in trying to find alternative job responsibilities.
"I am extremely disappointed in this," Holly Catlin wrote. "Not just the way it was handled but, just the fact that it happened. I know corporate decisions are corporate decisions, if thats where this originated from, but, does anyone ever make any decisions anymore by putting any heart or care into it? I seriously wonder this."