MONROE TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A disabled Walmart employee in Pennsylvania is fighting to keep his job. He has cerebral palsy and his job requirements will soon include things that he physically cannot do, but he wants to keep working.
Adam Catlin of Middleburg has been a greeter at the Walmart store near Selinsgrove for about 10 years. "When the customers come in, I greet the customers. And then if they have a return, I scan it and put a sticker on it," Catlin told WNEP.
Catlin loves his job and doesn't let his cerebral palsy hold him back. "Walmart is his heart. His job is his driving force in life," said Amber Piermattei, Catlin's sister.
But on Saturday, Catlin says he was told that due to a change in corporate policy, his job description will change. He must now stand for his entire eight-hour shift. He must also be able to lift up to 25 pounds.
Catlin says that he has until April 26 to comply with the new regulations, or he no longer has a job. "I'm not gonna be able to do that," said Catlin.
A manager at the Selinsgrove Walmart told WNEP he's not allowed to comment. He referred reporters to Walmart's corporate office.
"I understand that corporate policies change, so if they want to make this change, that's fine. But I think they should grandfather him in. He's been there for 10 years," said Piermattei.
His mother, Holly Catlin, said management suggested several other open positions, including cashier and photo lab assistant, none of which he is physically capable of doing.
She said she insisted her son could do the host job if Walmart would make reasonable accommodations, as required by federal disability law.
"Everyone was very nice, it wasn't ugly at all, but we didn't really get anywhere," Holly Catlin said. "I don't know where we stand, but I'm not backing down. He must still have a job. There's just no way around it."
Walmart said it's working with Catlin on a resolution.
"We recognize this is a unique situation and it will take time to explore possible solutions. As we phase the greeter role out of this store over a 60-day period, our store management and local human resource teams will be in regular contact with Adam and his family as we explore every available option to him," said Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg. "We will be thoughtful during the process in hopes of finding a way for Adam to stay with the store."
Catlin's mom posted about the situation on social media. The post was shared thousands of times and people are outraged. "Why does he have to lift 25 pounds? He's just a real good kid with a good attitude and everyone enjoys seeing him," said shopper Stacie Camp.
"If you're having a bad day, you go in there, he makes your day. We go in there every week and I look forward to seeing him," said Shannon Walters, another area resident.
Holly Catlin said she has personally heard from 25 or 30 disabled Walmart greeters who told her they have lost their jobs.
"What makes me really sad is if we fix this for Adam, there are still those 25 or 30 people who are still out of a job and don't know where to turn. It makes me sick," she said. "I feel I need to go to bat for them."
As for Catlin, he just wants to work. "I want to keep my job past April 26 because I've made a lot of good friends and a lot of good memories over the years."
According to Catlin's family, he has not yet been offered any kind of severance package by Walmart.