A Walmart location in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania is under fire after dismissing Danny Ockenhouse, a 41-year-old man with disabilities who had worked at the store as a greeter for over 20 years. Ockenhouse was pushed out of the company by a restructuring program called “More at the Door,” which he says would have required him to complete tasks he is physically unable to do.
Ockenhouse lives with cerebral palsy, a movement disorder that confines him to a wheelchair. “I can do parts of a lot of jobs, but they said I have to be able to lift 50 pounds, put groceries in the back of people’s cars,” he told the Pocono Record. According to Ockenhouse, the other, able-bodied greeters at his location were offered different job placements within the store.
Over the weekend, a crowd of about 100 gathered to protest Ockenhouse’s firing, holding signs with messages like “Give Danny His Job Back,” “We Support Danny,” and “Shop K-Mart.” Ockenhouse was also in attendance, telling local news channel WNEP16, “[My supervisor] told me about three weeks ago that he had to find something for me to do. Everything I wanted to do, he said I couldn’t because there was some degree of lifting.”
Organizers for Ockenhouse plan to protest outside of Walmart until he gets his job back. A Change.org petition advocating for his re-hiring currently has over 5,500 signatures. Here’s more of Ockenhouse’s story, courtesy of a WNEP16 news clip.
(Via NY Daily News)