Apparently picking up trash can get you fired if you work at this Walmart in East Greenbush, New York.
Thomas Smith, who used to clean up carts from the store’s parking lot, collected around 51 empty can and bottles which he then turned in for a $5.10.
Little did he know that the meager amount would cost him his job.
Smith was reportedly caught on Walmart’s surveillance camera while redeeming the bottles. As per the store’s policy, redeeming the value of garbage was tantamount to theft. He was then interrogated by the manager and security staff after which he was fired. He claims he didn’t even get chance to explain himself.
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“I didn't know you couldn't take empties left behind. They were garbage," he was quoted as saying by the Consumerist. "I didn't even get a chance to explain myself. They told me to turn in my badge."
A Walmart spokesperson told WNYT channel that Smith wrote a statement admitting to taking the cans, while refusing to provide a copy.
Smith, who was released from prison in May after serving a 15-year-sentence for armed robbery is on parole. He had been homeless for nearly four months before he got a job at the Walmart store.
"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 told Times Union.
His story has attracted a lot of support online – in fact, Dounya Hamdam, a Chicago resident, has even set up a GoFundMe page to help the fired employee.