Disabled employee worried as Walmart says goodbye to greeters

Imagine being told you have about 60 days before your job is eliminated.

For one Marion, North Carolina Walmart greeter-- that's exactly what's happening.

A community is rallying behind Jay Melton, a Walmart greeter who has Cerebral Palsy.

Walmart is getting rid of its greeters, making the role more physically demanding-- which limits Melton.

Melton has been a Walmart greeter for nearly 17 years now and absolutely loves his job.

"He always wanted to work at Walmart," said Jay's Father, Jim Melton.

Because Jay is wheelchair bound, he is limited on what he can do physically.

Just last week, though, his manager told him the store will soon be eliminating the greeter position.

"In some cases, the greeters could have a severance package or apply for another position if it's available and they can do the job," Jim said.

The job is changing to more of a "customer host" position-- which will require performing additional duties like assisting with product returns and checking receipts.

"It had to deal with heavy lifting and standing up," Jim said.  "Jay can't do that-- he's in a wheelchair."

Within the last week, more than 16,000 people have signed a petition to keep Jay employed at Walmart.

"It's just overwhelming the number of people who have gone online and signed the petition and stuff," he said.

In a statement from Walmart, FOX 46 was told stores have already made offers to some greeters-- including those with physical disabilities.

The retail giant went on to say it recognizes those with physical disabilities face a unique situation-- so the store will be extending the 60 day greeter transition period to try to accommodate.

"All Jay wants to do is work at Walmart," said his dad.

Jay loves church and the Carolina Tar Heels.  But, his love for his job at Walmart also tops the list.

"He is my son," said Jim.  "And I want what's best for him."