Walmart says employee was sacked for redeeming cans again

Human Interest		

When the manager asked Smith to return the $5.10 he got from redeeming the cans, he didn't have the cash on him, but he paid the money back on Sunday after a one-hour bus ride.

Rattled, confused and unable to read the statement without his glasses, Smith told the Times Union he signed the document because he wanted to avoid a larger conflict and because he didn't want to risk violating his parole.

Mullins said Walmart was not disputing $3.10 worth of empty beer cans discarded in the parking lot next to a trash can that Smith, after he saw the man who dumped them drive off, took inside the store and redeemed for the nickel deposits.

Smith said he was sacked after signing a statement and undergoing an interrogation by three security managers in the store's security office.

A Walmart store fired a formerly homeless employee for redeeming $5.10 worth of empty cans and bottles which, essentially, was pure garbage.

Apparently, this larceny equivalent to a few Snickers bars couldn't be handled any other way.

Clarifying that statement, Aaron Mullins, a Wal-Mart spokesman, told the Times Union that Smith was guilty of "gross misconduct" for removing discarded bottles that had been sitting in a shopping cart that had been sitting near the entryway and then redeeming them inside the store. "I didn't even get a chance to explain myself".

Smith worked as a shopping cart attendant following his parole
Smith worked as a shopping cart attendant following his parole

While trying to clean up his life and clean up the parking lot, Smith told me he spotted a cart full of empty bottles and cans. He had been homeless for nearly four months before he got a job at the Walmart store.

Smith said they left their cart full of recyclables which he redeemed for $2.

Alice Green with the Center of Law and Justice, who has been helping Smith, said the store did not say that when they spoke before.

"I said this is nonsense", McLaughlin told the paper.

While going viral for his sudden termination from a low-wage job that has provided him with some short-term help, Smith will likely still have a hard time getting back on his feet.

Smith never disputed that he redeemed the cans and bottles. He was sacked by the end of the day. He says he had agreed to work late that day because of staffing issues.