Walmart Is Eliminating Greeters. Workers With Disabilities Feel Targeted

John Combs is a “people greeter” at a Walmart in Vancouver, Wash. But he has been told that come April 25, his job is going away. And he is not alone.

Courtesy of Rachel Wasser

Heard on Morning Edition

Editor’s Note: If you’re a Walmart greeter — or know someone who is — and would like to share your story with NPR, please reach out to us at

If you ask John Combs what his biggest worry is, he’ll say: “How will I feed Red?”

Red is actually white. He’s a labradoodle rescue, just tall enough for Combs to pet if he reaches over the armrest of his wheelchair. Combs, 42, has cerebral palsy. He has difficulty speaking. But he has no difficulty saying the line most Americans have heard at least once: “Welcome to Walmart!”

Combs has one of Walmart’s trademark front-door jobs: He’s a “people greeter” at a store in Vancouver, Wash. But, he was told, come April 25 his job is going away. And he is not alone. According to Walmart, greeters are being removed at about 1,000 stores around the country.


‘Hey, do you play basketball?’”…“I said, ‘Yeah, I was All-State in Michigan.’ He goes, ‘Get in my office!’

Don Schwall poses with his college degree in his home office Thursday.


It’s when May dissolves into summer that America still manages to celebrate education, with rigorous pomp and melodic circumstance, with its ready panoply of commencement speakers, because despite our roiling culture, achievement in learning is still widely considered a noble pursuit.

I’m convinced of this just by the glow on the face of Don Schwall, who just took his bachelor of business education degree from the University of Oklahoma only 63 years after he’d begun his studies, and yeah, that’s a story.

But not the story you want to start with.


As Walmart CEO promises they’ll get new work, greeters with disabilities still worry about their future

Courtesy of Scott Cantrell


The retail behemoth is phasing out the greeter job, replacing it with more physically demanding work that some currently manning the doors won’t be able to perform, NPR reported Monday

. Walmart head Greg Foran told store managers Friday that “if any associate in this unique situation wants to continue working at Walmart, we should make every effort to make that happen

.” In some well-publicized cases, workers already have accepted new jobs, but other employees and relatives are skeptical.

“Part of me is afraid that … they’re going through the motions,” said one worker’s mother. “I don’t want to get Nathan’s hopes up and in six months, they’re going to do this all over again.”

Editor’s note: If you’re a Walmart greeter — or know someone who is — and would like to share your story with NPR, please reach out to us at



‘Coming Forward Has Broke Me’: #MeToo Movement Comes To Rural Nevada

Melanie Keener stands outside the Storey County Courthouse in Virginia City, Nev., where she now works in a largely undefined security job. After filing a sexual harassment complaint against Sheriff Gerald Antinoro, Keener was removed from her position as the sheriff’s chief deputy.

Maggie Starbard for NPR

Maggie Starbard for NPR

She accused her boss, the sheriff, of harassment. She got demoted. And even though it was one of many allegations against him, he’s still in office.

Gerald Antinoro leads law enforcement in Storey County, Nev., despite accusations of harassment, using racial slurs, misusing government resources, even rape. He denies all of it and has never been prosecuted, but an internal investigation found he did harass then-Chief Deputy Melanie Keener. But only Antinoro still has his job.

It’s hard when you know that your law enforcement career is over and the person who ended your career is walking around like a little hero,” Keener says. “Nothing he has done ever catches up to him.”