The retail giant said it introduced the customer host position two years ago. Unlike greeters, customer hosts "must be able to lift 25 pounds, clean up spills, collect carts and stand for long periods of time, among other things," National Public Radio reported, citing Walmart documents and interviews with workers.
Greeters with disabilities in five states told NPR they expect to lose their jobs after April 25 or April 26. Walmart said in a 2016 blog post that during the pilot phase of the program "more than 80% of the affected associates were able to find new positions - including many promotions."
"For those who didn't choose to stay, we offered severance pay, which we continue to offer as we move this program nationwide," the post said.
In a statement, Walmart said that "as we strive to constantly improve the experience for our customers, we will need to adjust roles from time to time."
"We've recently shared our plans to change the responsibilities of the people greeter role in some stores and that involves associates with disabilities in some cases," the statement said. "We recognize that our associates with physical disabilities face a unique situation. With that in mind, we will be extending the current 60-day greeter transition period for associates with disabilities while we explore the circumstances and potential accommodations, for each individual, that can be made within each store. This allows these associates to continue their employment at the store as valued members of the team while we seek an acceptable, customized solution for all of those involved."
Shares of Walmart were off about 1% to $98.14 on Tuesday.