Walmart Employee Gets Canned For Redeeming Discarded Cans And Bottles

Employees lose their jobs all the time. It’s a reality of the workforce: those that aren’t cutting the mustard or following the rules and whatnot can be kicked to the curb and wished well in future endeavors.

It’s always unfortunate to see anyone lose their job, but the reality may be that it’s a blessing in disguise. If things aren’t working out well at their place of employment, then perhaps they just need a shove to find their true passions in life.

In any event, most folks will pay no mind to the employment status of others that they don’t know. However, there are times when an employee gets let go for questionable reasons. At times, there can even be a groundswell of support for the aggrieved former employee.

That’s what’s happened to 52-year-old Thomas Smith, who was let go from his job at the Walmart Supercenter in East Greenbush, New York.

As the Times Union shares, Smith was working as a cart collector at the store, and he would often come across discarded cans and bottles in the course of his duties. He collected a bunch of them, and he proceeded to redeem them for a whopping $5.10.

While that doesn’t sound like a big deal in the grand scheme of things, it was in the eyes of his supervisors. He was called into the management office after he was caught on security cameras, and he was promptly let go.

"I didn't know you couldn't take empties left behind. They were garbage," he explained.

"I didn't even get a chance to explain myself. They told me to turn in my badge."

The story about what happened to Smith captured a ton of attention, and a GoFundMe page was setup to help him out.

"I did the right thing and stayed out of trouble. I worked hard and did a good job. I ended up getting a raw deal," he added.

So why on earth would the store fire him over something that seems to be so minor in the grand scheme of things? It turns out that Smith redeemed the cans and bottles for money right at the store he worked in.

As store management saw it, that was the equivalent of him stealing from the store. He was told to pay the money back, but he didn’t have the money on him at that point. Nonetheless, he would return to the store to return the money as soon as he could.

"This is an injustice," he added. "I was done dirty."

Smith is currently on parole and attempting to turn things around, but the loss of his job throws a wrench into things. He notes that he’s considering filing suit against the retail giant. Whether he’ll get anywhere with that or not is anyone’s guess.

He claims to have not been aware of the rule that he couldn’t redeem things he found for cash at the store he works in, but it’s unclear if that was made clear to him during his training. We sincerely hope that Smith continues working towards turning his life around, and we feel for him that he lost his job. That said, the store has its policies, and those that run afoul of them run the risk of being terminated.

Source: Times Union
Photo: Times Union

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