STREETSBORO, Ohio (WOIO) - For five years Bob Caetta, who is in a wheelchair, worked as a host at the Streetsboro Walmart.
But, the day before Thanksgiving, Walmart, he says, put him on unpaid leave, claiming he did not meet the job description.
Caetta says he was shocked when they told him why.
“The fact that I could not lift 25 pounds or stand up,” he claims, is the reason they put him on unpaid leave.
The job required him to re-scan any items that were not bagged, like a case of water or some other large item, as customers left the store--essentially to make sure they were paid for.
Caetta says the fact he could not lift an item or stand never kept him from getting the job done.
19 News asked Caetta if he thought he was being discriminated against.
“Yes I do,” he said, “I have been doing that job successfully for five years.”
Walmart released a statement to 19 News:
“We’re excited Robert has accepted a new role in his store allowing him to continue serving as a valued member of the team. The Self-Checkout host helps customers using the self checkouts in the store. We are working with him to make some adjustments and provide some assistance that we believe will allow him to be successful in the new role.”
Caetta says he has accepted the job from Walmart simply because he needs it to pay the bills. Yet, he said he does want his old job back because he misses the personal interaction with the customers, and as it turns out, the customers made it clear they missed him.
One shopper, who was upset he was no longer at work, expressed her displeasure in a post on change.org. Thousands of people signed the petition.
it may have led to Walmart finding him a new job, but either way, he was overwhelmed by the support.