A Bossier City Walmart employee says what his managers made him do on a recent shift was degrading.
59-year-old Roger Digilormo has worked at Walmart for 11 years. After being injured on the job, he had to have surgery and physical therapy. When he returned to work, he was placed on light duty while under a doctor's supervision. Unable to lift heavy boxes, Digilormo had been working in the store's Garden Center, checking receipts and monitoring the entrance.
But on Friday, he was given a new assignment after telling his supervisor that he could not sit out in the sun because of the medication he is currently taking. He says he was sent to spend his next shift in the men's bathroom.
His brother, Carl Digilormo, says he had to see for himself. When he did, he found Roger sitting in a garden chair in the bathroom at the Airline Drive store. That's when he pulled out his cell phone camera and started recording. "I took the video and I did post it on Facebook because its disgraceful and demeaning, nobody should ever have to do that," Carl says.
In the video, Roger Digilormo explains why he believes he has been assigned to the bathroom, which he says has no air conditioning and smells of feces and urine. "Yesterday, I was sitting outside in the Garden Center, and I wouldn't go outside and sit in the sun, because I'm on a lot of medication. I got hurt here and I'm disabled and they got mad, and so they told me I had to go sit in the bathroom all day. And I tried to tell them there's no air in there. There's no air in here. It smells bad. But they told me, I got sick yesterday and went home and they told me, ‘When you come back tomorrow, you'll be in the bathroom.' That's what the manager told me."
Carl Digilormo says his brother's full-time job at the store provides the only benefit income he has. He says he is outraged at treatment that he describes as disturbing. "It was disgusting, the smell and no air conditioning, the heat in there, having to sit there all day and smell that, its not right, its inhumane, and I think people ought to know what's going on over there."
Roger Digilormo spent 6 and a half hours of his 2-11 p.m. shift Friday in the bathroom, before he was moved to greet customers at the front of the store for the remainder of the shift. "It was disgusting, the smell and no air conditioning, the heat in there, having to sit there all day and smell that, its not right, its inhumane," Carl says.
Walmart spokeswoman Katie Cody says, "He was asked to move from restroom to restroom to monitor and make sure they were tidy, because that is an area of customer service that can always been improved," but confirms that Walmart stores do not have bathroom attendants. "We are certainly looking into it and making sure we can address this appropriately."
Cody says all Walmart bathrooms have air conditioning, and that he was provided a chair for his convenience, but that he wasn't told he had to sit in there.
Roger is due back for his next shift on Sunday. Cody says he is expected to return to greeting customers at the front of the store. On Saturday, however, Carl said his brother was not doing very well. "He's sick from sitting in the restroom having to smell feces and urine all day, and I just…. Sorry... I can't believe someone would do that to somebody. It's unreal to me," Carl says, as he presses his eyes to hold back tears.
Still, Carl says his brother intends to show up for his next shift.
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