Tell Walmart to Reinstate Man Fired for Recycling

Target: Carl Douglas McMillon, Walmart CEO

Goal: Reinstate man fired for recycling cans and bottles found on his shift at Walmart for money and compensate him for lost wages.

An African American man was allegedly fired for recycling the cans and bottles he found while cleaning up his workplace for a few dollars. In addition to collecting carriages from the parking lot, Smith would pick up trash during his shift in an effort to keep the East Greenbush, NY store presentable for customers. Any redeemable bottles and cans Smith brought to the bottle return in the store, netting him a total of $5.10.

Weeks later, after agreeing to work a double shift to cover during a staffing crisis, Smith was reportedly fired for stealing Walmart property. Smith offered to return the money, although he didn’t have the cash on him at that moment. Rather than give him time to return this paltry sum, Smith was allegedly fired without a chance to explain himself.

After contacting the Center for Law and Justice in Albany, Smith, who is African American, learned that a white, female coworker was caught on camera lifting $20 from her register drawer. In that case, however, the employee was given the option to return the money and keep her job.

Smith and his attorney argue that Walmart management fired Smith unjustly simply because he’s a black male with a short police record. Smith claims that Walmart’s HR department knew about Smith’s record and parole when they hired him, but seem to have been unwilling to actually give him a fair shot at reform. Instead, they allegedly fired him for trying to earn a little extra money cleaning up garbage in their parking lot and made the outrageous claim that such actions constitute theft of Walmart property.

Tell Walmart they must reinstate Smith’s job and $9 per hour salary and provide him with back pay for any wages lost as a result of his allegedly unethical firing.


Dear Mr. McMillon,

Walmart is one of the largest employers in the U.S. and should serve as a model for fair and ethical employment practices. Instead, a recent incident at the East Greenbush store indicates that prejudice still enters the workplace.

Thomas Smith, an African American male, made $9 an hour as a carriage collector and used his time walking the lot for carts to also clean up garbage. When he redeemed the bottles and cans he collected for cash, Smith alleges he was brought in to HR three hours into the second half of a double shift and fired for theft of Walmart property. He further states that he was not allowed to explain himself and that offers to return the money went unheard.

Adding to this perceived injustice, Smith’s attorney has evidence that a white, female coworker removed $20 from her register but was allowed to return the money and keep her job. Such outright bigotry is illegal and goes against American values.

We demand Walmart rehire Thomas Smith and provide him with any back pay due to his improper firing.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Aneekr

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