ROOT – Tyler Bolton has ambition.
At 17, he hopes to find a job, relocate when he comes of age, and eventually start a career in tech. He tinkers with the idea of becoming a YouTuber reviewing different video games, highlighting obscure or independently created games.
Around Thanksgiving, Bolton – who was recently diagnosed with autism – had already crossed number 1 off his list when he landed a job at Walmart, 3049 Oakes Road, as a cart pusher. He had acquired the position through the vocational rehabilitation division of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
Within a week of starting this job, an incident occurred in which, according to Bolton, his supervisor forbade him to take breaks and called him “slow”. At the end of his shift, he was almost in tears when his father picked him up.
Her mother, Rose Bolton, is seeking to file a discrimination complaint and, by the end of December, had hired a lawyer.
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“As a mom, I want justice to be served. I don’t want another kid to come in and have to face the same thing and feel like he’s nobody, ”she said.
Walmart spokesman Jimmy Carter told a reporter via email, “We do not tolerate any form of discrimination. We made several attempts to contact this associate’s mother to clear up the misunderstanding. We accommodated the partner by allowing him to return home early. At no time was he asked to leave our store. We are eager to resolve this issue.
According to Tyler, he started his 8am shift that day working alone, which meant he had to manage carts all over the parking lot; a job generally intended for at least two people to manage.
It was one of his very first shifts. Working alone as a new hire – with the stress of bad weather that day, it was a hail and sleet early December day – Tyler was making small mistakes.
“In the middle of my shift I was struggling really hard,” he said. “It was rush hour.
Tyler was not allowed a break as no one was available to replace him, he said. When he had a “very little break, I was eating and working.”
“In the end, I just had a panic attack,” he said. At this point, he entered the store, looking for a supervisor.
When he finally got a hold of someone he said, “She started yelling at me and saying, ‘What are you doing? Why aren’t you outside? “
Tyler said he couldn’t remember the full extent of that day, but Rose said she remembered Tyler telling her he was called “slow or stupid.”
He said he was “kicked out” from Walmart and his access to his employee app, through which he viewed his schedule on his cell phone, had been disabled. It was as if he had been fired without even a goodbye.
He came home from work that day, soaking wet, looking genuinely upset. He resigned soon after.
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Rose posted a Facebook post and a TikTok video about the incident, with the latter receiving more than 27,000 views. She said she did not hear from anyone in Walmart’s human resources department regarding the incident after making the first contact.
She was not satisfied with the spokesperson’s statement.
@ rosebolton1 ♬ Inspirational piano – AShamaluevMusic
Rose said Walmart’s human resources rep was aware of Tyler’s disability when he was hired. He applied for the position through the DVR office in Racine, which helps people with disabilities find employment.
“He needs more time to process. He has anxiety, “she said.” I think they should pay for what they did to him because he has to do it all over again.
What happened to Tyler was “a blow,” she said. Since then, he has not had the same enthusiasm to work.
“We almost feel like the reset button has been pressed for him,” Rose said.
Joseph Olivares, spokesperson for the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, told a reporter: “I cannot speak to this specific case… Discrimination of any kind is illegal in the United States. It’s wrong.”
He noted that there are protections against discrimination for every employee in the country, “whether minors or adults.”
Tyler’s story caught the attention of Wil Leverson, a podcaster and former State Assembly candidate, who took to Facebook Live to shed some light on the situation. He said he acknowledged many commentators on Rose’s social media who wrote about experiencing similar incidents with the company.
“It can’t be isolated… It affects so many people,” Leverson said.
He called on local leaders to raise awareness of Tyler’s situation and potential discrimination cases in all workplaces in the area, especially Walmart. “We must be at the forefront of this cause.
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“I don’t want another kid to come in and have to face the same thing, and feel like he’s nobody.”