In response to a former employee being fired after he came to the defense of a woman in trouble in the store's parking lot, Walmart stated that "while the company understood Oswald's intentions, his actions violated company policy."
The statement came from a spokeswoman for the Arkansas based Walmart on Thursday, according to a report from the Detroit Free Press.
On Oct. 13, Kristopher Oswald, 30, was working the third shift at the Hartland Walmart and was taking his lunch break in the store's parking lot when he saw a man and a women in a physical argument.
After watching the confrontation unfold, Oswald told Patch he had approached the car, asked the woman if she needed help and was then first assaulted by the man with her and then two more men who arrived after.
Livingston County Sheriff’s were called to the scene and broke up the fight, according to a previous Patch report.
On Oct. 15, after being called in for a work meeting, Oswald said he was given the news that he was terminated for violating company policy and escorted from the building.
It was a shock and a disappointment, according to Oswald who was told the night before by his shift supervisor that while he was going to have to suspend Oswald, he thought his actions were “brave and selfless.”
“He (supervisor) told me flat out that he wanted to give me the opportunity to say my side and then they’ll made a decision,” he said.
Oswald said he was never given that chance, however, and after being called into the meeting with his supervisor and manager, Oswald said he was given his termination papers.
In Hartland, Patch readers wrote in their reactions including:
- Danna Castillo wrote: “Weren't there camera's ON the parking lot? Wasn't the security team or theft prevention team in place? Why didn't anyone from Wal-Mart come to their employee or customers rescue? And although I agree he should have called 911 but instead he just tried to help. If this Wal-Mart employee was being a good Samaritan and no other Wal-Mart employees were there to help...shame on you Wal-Mart! Now we know we are not save in your parking lot... Thank You Mr. Oswald for doing the right thing!”
- Jessica Jones Cece wrote: “Walmart, as a company, has a history of terminating employees who have acted as heroes in defense of others. It's why I no longer shop there.”
- L M wrote: “I agree with this Free Press comment from Dan Bale: "So here's the message to all you female shoppers at Walmart: Walmart thinks so little of you that it basically prevents its employees to just ASK if you need help. I shudder to think if a young child is abducted in a parking lot, screaming his/her head off for help, surrounded by several Walmart employees... "Nope, can't do it, gotta put food on the table for my family, sorry kid." Can't imagine any human being with a beating heart wouldn't come to aid someone in this predicament, job be d-, anyway. But this is how little Walmart cares. It would rather save money on workmen's comp claims and possible litigation than to keep its customers safe." Shop at Meijer. Hartland's Walmart is not a safe place to shop. It is too close to the on/off ramp of US 23, which is a quick escape for an attacker. Walmart doesn't care about you, only your pocketbook.”