East Greenbush Walmart Fires Employee After Redeeming $5.10 in Bottles Left in the Parking Lot
A local man has lost his job just before the holidays for doing nothing more than his job, it appears. Walmart in East Greenbush fired Thomas Smith, hired to collect shopping carts from the parking lot, for redeeming $5.10 in discarded bottles and cans he found while cleaning trash.
For nearly two months, 52-year old Thomas Smith cleaned up all of the shopping carts customers left behind in the parking lot of the East Greenbush, NY. Walmart. With the carts came the barrage of trash shoppers often tossed into the lot. While cleaning garbage, Smith also collected the empty bottles and cans that were disposed of. Little did he know, cleaning our garbage was a fireable offense.
After redeeming a total of $5.10 in discarded cans and bottles found in the parking lot, Thomas Smith was brought into the manager’s office and relieved of his duties.
Having not been informed of the can-redemption rule, while being questioned by management, Smith was told he was not allowed to redeem the bottles at the store. Smith was then let go after working three additional hours after his normal shift ended that day due to a shortage of employees. Asked to pay the $5.10 back to the store, Smith lacked cash. With an hour-long bus ride, Smith returned the money to the store manager several days later.
Perhaps Smith’s background played a role in his strange, quick termination. Recently released from a 15-year prison sentence for robbing a bank in Latham, Smith was homeless before seeking help. In an effort to turn his life around, Thomas Smith took a job cleaning trash – and was fired for doing so.
It feels like Walmart was looking for a reason to let Smith go. What would have happened if a customer complained about dirty bottles and cans in their shopping carts? Would Smith have been on the chopping block for not redeeming the bottles? Throw the cans away instead of getting on the whole Go Green bandwagon? Or maybe Walmart would rather the trash be left in their carts.
With Smith worried about not having money to buy his children Christmas gifts, the Times Union ran a great story how you can support him in this unfortunate situation.
Posted on November 19, 2015, in Local Stuff and tagged East Greenbush Walmart, Thomas Smith, Thomas Smith Walmart, Walmart, Walmart Fired $5.10 cans, Walmart Fired Man Returning Cans. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.