MARION, N.C. — A North Carolina Walmart greeter who made national headlines after a petition was started to save his job won't have to look for work.
"We are so excited to announce that Jay has accepted a position as a Self-Checkout Host. Jay has been a part of our store for the last 17 years and is well known throughout our community. Please help us congratulate Jay on his new position!" Walmart Marion posted on Facebook.
Nearly 19,000 people signed the petition for Melton keep his job.
Walmart recently endured more than a week's worth of bad publicity for phasing out greeters and introducing hosts instead.
"This means that the job now requires the ability to stand for long periods of time, lift 25-pound parcels, check receipts, write reports, and help with product loss investigations," the petition read.
Melton has cerebral palsy and cannot walk without help, so he would not be able to perform the new duties.
Amid a fierce backlash, Greg Foran, president and CEO of Walmart's U.S. stores, said in a memo to store managers Thursday night that "we are taking some specific steps to support" greeters with disabilities.
The chain noted that several greeters were offered new jobs at their respective stores and accepted.
Walmart Marion's Facebook post had more than 3,000 shares and about 1,000 comments. Some commended the company.
"Congratulations Walmart! Jay Melton is an outstanding employee and a great guy!! Your stock just went up in my book. I hope you gave this man a raise," one person said.
Others weren't letting the retail giant off that easy.
" You did the right thing only because you had to; shame on you for putting Jay and his family in that position to begin with," another person said.
Advocates for the disabled said Walmart made the right move.
"By rethinking their action, Walmart is now opening the door to actually help individuals realize their full employment potential," said Cheryl Bates-Harris, senior disability advocacy specialist at the National Disability Rights Network.
As for Melton, his father said he's "happier than a pig in a mud puddle."