Home > Atheism, News, Video > Walmart Employee Fired Because of His Beliefs – UPDATE!

Walmart Employee Fired Because of His Beliefs – UPDATE!

July 16, 2011 was Roger Barr’s 60th birthday. It was also the day he found out that his employer — Walmart — has a policy that dictates what an employee can’t do on their free time, away from work.

Barr worked part-time as a “People Greeter” for the Walmart in Galax, Virginia. This highly religious community is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, not far from the North Carolina border. It is also an area that is experiencing high unemployment.

He had only been working there for about a year. He scored very high at his yearly performance review. “The co-manager told me that in one category that I was the first associate that he had ever rated that high,” Roger said in an email.

It was obvious to fellow employees and customers that he was good at, and loved his job. After 40 years of working in manufacturing jobs, he said he’d finally found a job he enjoyed.

That Saturday, Barr clocked in for work at 6PM. Twenty minutes later, he was summoned by management to an office at the front of the store, where a Shift Manager and Asset Protection Coordinator were waiting. “I asked what was going on and the APC told me there had been a complaint lodged against me at Corporate and I was suspended immediately.”

Store management said they didn’t know what the complaint was about, but that he must leave the store immediately. He wasn’t even allowed to do some shopping before he left the store, nor was he allowed to clock out.

The following Monday, July 18, he received a phone call asking him to come in for a meeting with management. He was escorted to an office in the back of the store, where he met with the Store Manager and APC. They explained that a customer had written a letter to the President of Walmart about Barr’s Facebook posts. They read the letter to him.

“In the letter she stated that she was afraid to shop at our store because of me and my posts on old people, handicapped people and people with several children.” Barr keeps his Facebook profile open to the public, because he does not believe in censorship. He was not told who made the complaint, nor how the complainant came to view his profile, but he suspects that it was a friend of a friend who had commented on his postings. At the time, Barr had a staggering 1700 people on his friend list!

The Facebook post in question was made by Barr on June 6, 2011. It was a fairly simple status update:

“Better health care means that disabled and chronically ill people live longer.” … Reader’s Digest … But is that a good thing?

The conversation erupted into a debate of sorts, with several people agreeing with Barr, and several people disagreeing with him and other commenters.

Roger had a special needs sister, and his unique views are because of his experiences with her, and how she was treated.  “[She was] the last of 10 children. She was premature and nearly died as a baby. She never matured mentally or physically past the age of 10. At that time we did not use the term ‘special needs child’ but that dreaded word ‘retarded’. She was a very happy child though and loved other children. When she started school she was immediately singled out and picked on by the other kids. The older kids were even worse. Although she did learn to read and write and do some arithmetic she never got past the 7th grade. The school system allowed her to stay in school until she turned 18 and she basically helped out as a non-paid aide. After she turned 18 they would no longer let her go to school. She died at the age of 22 in 1975 because her heart could longer support her body.” Barr explains. He feels that there is a difference between “living” and “simply existing”, and that those who are “simply existing” are “simply taking up space” if they’re not able to contribute anything to themselves or society.

How any of this should make someone afraid to shop at Walmart will remain a mystery. Barr made no threats against anyone, nor did he threaten any group of people. He candidly expressed his opinion. Roger, an outspoken atheist, also made a remark about there being no such thing as a soul, which didn’t sit well with a few of those who commented on this post.

One of the people who commented — a co-worker and friend of a friend — said she couldn’t wait for the day that something bad happened to Roger, and that she hoped she would be able to witness his “punishment”.

Another person threatened, “I hope you are lucky enough to be treated as you treat others, with no compassion or concern. I might just come to Walmart and see you sometime!”

Remember, these comments are also open and viewable to the general public, since Roger’s profile is open to the public.

At the meeting on July 18, Barr was instructed to write a statement to Corporate, explaining why he wrote the post, and that he was not a danger to anyone. The manager told Barr that his statement should satisfy Corporate, and that as far as he was concerned, the issue was settled. Barr was allowed to clock in and work his scheduled shift. His manager informed him later that evening that Corporate wasn’t happy about the way things were handled, but he also said that Roger should go back to work, and he’d let him know if anything else came up.

Barr finished his shift that Monday, worked his regular shift on Wednesday, and went to work again on Thursday. However, at around 1:30PM on Thursday, Barr was again summoned by management, and told he was again suspended, and would have to leave the store.  This time, he was allowed to clock out and purchase a few items before going back home.

Upon arriving home, there was a message on his phone from the Store Manager. He called, and the Store Manager said that Barr was again banned from the store, but not to worry too much about the situation, that he was sure it would be straightened out. The Store Manager said he’d be back in touch with Barr after some paperwork had been completed.

On July 27, he was again summoned for a meeting, this time with two women from Walmart’s corporate office. “They told me that in posting what I had posted on Facebook and causing the complaint to be lodged against me that I had violated the social media guidelines policy in that it had resulted in an adverse effect on the company,” Barr said.

Barr explained to them that he had not known there was a policy regarding social media. They told him that it was on the WIRE (Walmart’s computer system for employees). Many Walmart employees are unaware that there is a policy, as it’s not something that was publicized since its inception about a year ago. When he told them that he didn’t even know how to access the WIRE, they lectured that he could have asked someone for help.

The only way to access the WIRE is on the computers at Walmart, and only while you are on the clock. It’s against company policy to do any job related functions during your breaks, so the time available to access the WIRE is very limited. Another major obstacle for employees is that company policies are not allowed to leave the building; an employee can not print out the 40 page social media and ethics policies (or the entire list of policies, which is over 300 pages!) to bring home and read at their leisure. This is especially disadvantageous for employees like People Greeters and Cashiers, who are stuck at their post for their entire shift. For them it’s only possible to access the WIRE immediately after clocking in, or before clocking out. Unfortunately, Walmart has also been cracking down on over-time, so an employee risks getting coached (an official reprimand, which can lead to termination) if they go over their scheduled shift time.

The women from Corporate had copies of his posts, and asked him to once again write a statement on a prepared form, and to sign it. He was once again sent home, and told that he should hear from them in a day or two, after they were done investigating the situation.

At no point to date has he received a copy of anything he’d read or signed. The social media policy was read to him, but he did not read it himself, nor was he asked to sign anything saying that he saw and/or agreed to any policy.

On August 1, Barr was again summoned for a meeting. It would be his last. He was fired that day. The official reason: Violation of Social Media Policy and Harassment Policy.

The good news is he’s not banned from the store any more! However, he doubts he will ever shop at Walmart again.

Roger has an army of friends who have supported him through this, and will continue to support him by boycotting Walmart. There is quite the social networking movement happening on his Facebook page, and on the pages of his friends.

In the words of Roger Barr – “Time was that an employee was judged by his on-the-clock job performance! Now it seems companies want to control them full time and judge them by their off-the-clock performance also. Shouldn’t they also pay them that time too? A company, no matter how big, should not be able to dictate what you say and do off the clock unless you have signed a morals contract.”

And that, folks, is the burning question. Should a company be allowed to control what an employee does on his or her free time?

Another question to ponder: how exactly did this have an “adverse effect on the company”? The complainant didn’t have a beef with Walmart, they had a problem with the personal beliefs of an employee. Aren’t the personal beliefs of an employee covered under the Federal EEOC rules?

One would think that the publicity generated from this incident will have a much greater adverse effect on the company!

Please voice your opinion in the comments. How do you think Walmart should have handled this? Do you think Roger should have done anything differently? What would you do, if you were in his shoes?

______________________________________________________

On Thursday, August 11, 2011, Barr was interviewed by his local television station.

The video of that interview can be seen by clicking here.

The follow up video, a conversation with a lawyer, can be seen by clicking here.

A write up of the story, with a section for comments.

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  1. August 7, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    I think Walmart should have minded their own business. Simple as that..

    • Lore
      August 8, 2011 at 3:21 am

      I agree, Walmart broke the laws *well I am from NZ so going on our laws* in one spot by not letting him sign the documents, secondly, Mr Barr did NOT at any time in his Facebook post, mention Walmart, his comment had no bearing on the company at all, I am a person with many disabilities and I am not offended by what he said as that is his opinion and his beliefs.

      Walmart was right in not telling him who made the complaint but he has a right to know what was said in the complaint which I see they did inform him of what was said.

      The only time I believe social media should be censored by companies is if the company has been mentioned in the post.

      • Mike-J-B
        August 13, 2011 at 5:26 am

        Actually, in the US, you specifically have the right to face your accuser. It’s right there in the constitution.

        • Lori Blank
          August 22, 2011 at 9:00 pm

          Yes, but as an employee, you do not enjoy all the same rights you do as a citizen. I know, I’ve been there.

      • TJ Andrews
        August 14, 2011 at 2:45 am

        For a Company that makes a butt load of money you would think there intelligence would be better. First off wal-mart can fire a person for anything. But in the case of this firing lets examine it from a different light. This is a freedom of expression covered by the Constituation. It is a protected activity. And it did not voilate the company policy. Walmart has a zero violation policy actually. 100 percent complient or out the door. And that will be the next big lawsuit. Becasue everyday the allow people d days or coaching and also fire people for first time offences. And each time thye do it opens
        them up to massive lawsuits.

  2. August 8, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Oh say what? Since when does a corporation have any right to control someone else’s opinion.. regardless of employee status or not? Oh wait.. this is America.. land of the…??

    This indeed hurt Wal-Mart, but not because of any thing that Roger did. Here is one family of 4 that no longer shops at Wal-Mart.. for suppressing free speech.

    • TJ Andrews
      August 14, 2011 at 2:49 am

      And there is also the wage act. If a employer requires you to comply with there policy while off the clock, They have to pay you for 24 hours a day. Another MAssive lawsuit. I know of dozens.

  3. Shalon
    August 8, 2011 at 12:51 am

    When hiring on at walmart every single employee is required to complete several hours of CBL, (computer Based Learning) tests. More than one of those mentioned that one must be careful of behavior outside the store as well as on the clock. I hired on in 2005. I realize that in some ways I am like Hermione and remember things I read that no one else remembers. But Along with doing CBL’s at hire-on every employee also has to do new CBL’s every year to recertify, as well as using those computers to request time off. They are in a room that is always open, and easy to access. I unloaded trucks for Walmart and had almost NO time to even pee yet I was able to find 5 minutes or so AT LEAST once a week to check for new CBL’s. But to go back to the assertion that He was never told that his behavior OFF the job would affect his employment… They tell you in the first interview. The CBL’s tell you. And at least once a quarter, the manager’s hold employee meetings wherein it is usually mentioned. Usually in the context that if you break a law you are fired. But You are also told that if you ever speak ill of Wal-mart you can be fired. I do not think it is fair to be fired because someone dislikes your POV on the handicapped or because you don’t believe in God. But claiming that he was never told it MIGHT happen is a right out lie.

    • August 8, 2011 at 1:44 am

      Shalon, to the best of my knowledge, there is no CBL that deals with company policies regarding social media. Also, as I mentioned above, there are many employees – managers included – who are unaware that there is a policy regarding social media. So, no, it is not a lie that he was never told about this policy and/or its consequences.

      • bill
        August 8, 2011 at 8:02 pm

        i think this is b s. i my self work for a company that has a morrals clause but i know about it. they told me. i would sue the shit out of walmart. i think what they did is wrong very wrong walmart is a evil corporation and should treat there employees better…

    • Roger Barr
      August 8, 2011 at 7:39 am

      I don’t know where you work, Shalon, but evidently at my store things are done a lot differently. You know that we have to be clocked in to use the WIRE and can’t use it when we are on break because then we wouldn’t be on break. Can’t use it during meal time because we are off the clock. As a door greeter I was either working the door, on break or clocked out for a meal. When do you think I had time to use the WIRE?

    • Roger Barr
      August 18, 2011 at 6:42 pm

      Shalon,are you a Walmart shill?

      1. I was told only to be careful of behavior as long as I was on company property.
      2. In the year I worked there I NEVER attended any employees’ meetings.
      3. I was NEVER told that if I spoke ill of Walmart I would be fired.
      4. None of what I said took place on company property. I never mentioned Walmart in any
      of the posts in question. Evidently the Walmart you worked at was managed quite
      differently than the Galax store, because the only time other than when I was hired that
      I did CBLs, was when the CSM told me that I had one due.

  4. Sue Ann
    August 8, 2011 at 3:30 am

    My most recent employer required us to get their permission for any part-time work we wanted to do in our own time. We would be fired if we got a second job without prior permission.

    That employer was the Dept. of Health and Welfare of the State of Idaho.

    I think that is also an egregious intrusion into what is not the business of the employer. We were told, and required to sign paperwork indicating that we had been told.

  5. August 8, 2011 at 3:52 am

    I think whoever made this “anonymous complaint” needs to go walk behind a docking 18 wheeler and sacrifice themselves to the walmart overlords. Walmart is a great idea for a store, but damn their corporate assholes for bringing everybody down with stupid snoop and tell policies, low wages, “diversity” fascism, and the bitchcraft that plagues retail stores nationwide. .

  6. August 8, 2011 at 3:54 am

    Stamps are still under $1. I think everyone reading this story should send a personal reprimand to Rosalind Brewer, president of walmart operations on the east half of USA.
    Corporate Office
    Walmart
    702 SW 8th Street
    Bentonville, Arkansas 72716-8611
    479-273-4000
    Please include a copy of this story so they know why they are getting the blowback.

  7. Barbara Barrett
    August 8, 2011 at 6:39 am

    I’m definatly boycotting Walmart. This is pure prejudice, and nothing more. This country promotes freedom of expression, yet corporation try to stifle and conform the behavior of individuals who work for them. Ugly and nastyof Walmart to do.

  8. calvin cormier
    August 8, 2011 at 6:50 am

    I will no longer shop at Wal-Mart and will actively urge others not to. A massive letter campaign to Wal-Mart needs to be started

  9. RJ
    August 8, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Join Fb group… The Satire of Walmart and stop shopping at Walmart in support of Roger!

  10. RJ
    August 8, 2011 at 6:54 am

    @Shalon… he never spoke ill of the company/// he never used the company name in his posts/// he did have the name as his employer though///

  11. Barbara Woodruff
    August 8, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Frankly, I’m not surprised at anything wally world does to it’s own employees. There is little doubt the old man is spinning in his grave over the crap they pull. I will NOT shop there and encourage everyone I know not to as well. Not only because of their behavior and treatment of employees, but because of their lack of concern for the damage and harm they are doing to the USA.
    As someone who will only buy American, there is nothing for me there.

  12. Janet Steele
    August 8, 2011 at 8:28 am

    It seems contrary to the Constitution of the US that a private company can command what an employee does or says on his own time. Surely this case could be successfully appealed. Roger’s job was not a position in which he was instructing or influencing anyone about his personal beliefs. I know Roger personally, but whenever I saw him at Walmart he was professional about greeting me and helping me with getting a cart, returning an item, etc. I would suggest that he seek the aid of the American Civil Liberties organizaation.

    • Roger Barr
      August 18, 2011 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks, Janet!

  13. Scott
    August 8, 2011 at 8:39 am

    This isn’t the first time Walmart has opposed free speech. I’m sure it wont be the last. I, for one, will not shop there.

  14. r.s. isaacs
    August 8, 2011 at 8:54 am

    big business can do anything they desire…they control the money

  15. Chris
    August 8, 2011 at 9:01 am

    I’m boycotting and according to my Discover Card spending analyzer I spend about $800.00 a month.
    I also hope someone in Wal-Mart management sees these comments so they can question their policies.

    • August 8, 2011 at 12:22 pm

      Do what I did: Go to the Walmart.com webpage, then at the very bottom of the page, hit the link that says, “Feedback.” From there, paste in the URL of this article, and voice your complaints about it. They’ll have no choice but to forward it on to corporate from there, and hopefully someone in corporate will cop a clue.

  16. Steve
    August 8, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I would like to see the Atheist community support this man and join in an effort to get him reinstated ASAP!

  17. August 8, 2011 at 9:19 am

    I am a civil servant and we do have restrictions on what we can say publicly, but mostly because we come in contact with so much sensitive and/or confidential data. Also, we’re expected to behave like mature adults at all times – slagging my employer online anywhere would be a firing offence and I wouldn’t expect otherwise. But to fire someone for expressing what ought to have been a fairly non-controversial statement (given the circumstances) that did not involve statements about his employer, and then to be personally degraded by being hustled out like a shoplifter… there have been successful lawsuits where the employer has been found liable for the fired employee’s humiliation for doing exactly this. I’d sue.

  18. miketea
    August 8, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Walmart operates over here in the UK as Asda. Walmart’s reputation as an employer is known even here and since they took over Asda I simply won’t shop there and support such questionable practices. If they tried to pull this stunt over here they would face a raft of emplyment laws that would see them in court.

  19. August 8, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I believe this individual would prevail in a wrongful termination lawsuit – which can be quite lucrative. He should make an appointment with a labor attorney ASAP.

  20. smith
    August 8, 2011 at 9:46 am

    We live in a different world and people better get used to it. Wal-Mart is paranoid about lawsuits and that is our fault (society’s) for allowing people to sue over anything no matter how stupid. Facebook users need to not be stupid, and Barr was stupid for making his page public. I am considering dropping facebook altogether because there seems to be more risks than benefits from having a facebook page. In case you don’t realize it, Homeland Security is perusing facebook looking for “extremists”, and I doubt they are constrained by anything as quaint as your privacy settings. There is no such thing as privacy anymore…welcome to 1984, George Orwell!!!

    • August 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm

      Um, no. It’s the same old world, but the problem is that a bunch of pucker-butts would rather we all keep our mouths shut and never express our own opinions. They’d rather we sit down, shut up, and toe the corporate line like good little wave slaves. This is an attitude that I can never support and never follow. I agree that Barr would have been better off to have kept his page private, but if he’s not dissing his employer or its practices then he should have kept his job. Homeland Security has better things to do with its time than look for extremists. I am an extremist in my beliefs, but I tend to follow the law and keep my nose clean.

    • Aita
      August 11, 2011 at 8:33 pm

      If you fail to support and defend the freedoms you have, and indeed, rant against them, you don’t deserve them.

      I, for one, agree that privacy is a thing long gone, and I’m ok with that. I live my life as I see fit and no one’s yet found reason to punish me (legally).

      Learn the law, mock the idiots, enjoy life. If you’re stupid enough to not know the law and assume whatever your told is the truth, then you’re stupid enough to deal with the consequences. This man is a hard worker and, from what I’ve read, a good person, who’s been legally wronged by a Company who is notoriously cruel to it’s employees.

      TL;DR: Fuck you, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • August 11, 2011 at 9:22 pm

        Just curious, who was your last line directed at?

    • rlrose328
      August 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm

      I agree with you, unfortunately. Social media is a detriment to our society and gives those in charge way too much information on us, voluntarily! I don’t know Roger nor do I know his page, so this isn’t about him. I was on FB and had my page public (pictures were public as well as I shared many scrapbooking layouts, though only put a few of my son). I vented to fellow moms and others in my at-home business field often and it was comforting to know I wasn’t alone. However, when my son experienced bullying at school, I sought advice from other moms about it on FB. What I didn’t know was that the bullies were looking at my FB page and using what I posted about the situation to bully my son more. I never thought kids would be that resourceful. I thought long and hard (overnight) about it, and between the bullying and FB’s egregious (non)privacy issues, I deleted FB. It was hard… VERY hard… to leave my primary support system, but I’m happier and more productive without it. No longer worrying about what I say and how it may or may not affect me and my loved ones and job. And why be there if you never socially engage?

      As for Roger’s dilemma, I say sue if you can. They have no right to fire you for something you said that didn’t involve them. I guess that coworker who said they hoped something bad happens to you is still working there. A veiled threat is okay.

  21. August 8, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Maybe one of the worst things about this is that it’s not just Walmart. Virtually every company has some kind of policy about such things, and even if they don’t have a written one, believe me, it’ll be there when needed. The problem is not Walmart, the problem is that “your own time” is something that simply does not exist if you are a wage slave. I almost got fired from my job as a trucker because someone in the company decided to do a random search online and came up with the info that I was atheist. I got called into the main office and was asked questions like whether I worshipped the Devil.

  22. Jenny
    August 8, 2011 at 9:54 am

    No! A company or employer should NOT be able to dictate how an employee spends their time away from work. Employees are paid for the hours they actually contribute to their employer; to say an employee’s free time activities can be controlled by their employer amounts to nothing less than a form of corporate slavery. Walmart SHOULD have minded their own business; this was a model employee who did not let his beliefs interfere with his job performance or treatment of customers. We supposedly have freedom of speech in this country, and to engage in a debate, where others may not agree with your viewpoints, should not be cause for job termination.

    As a teacher, I am used to being told how I should live my life ‘off hours’. There are a lot of things I restrain myself from posting online, and a lot of beliefs I keep to myself or only share with a select few. It’s sad; we are supposed to have freedom of speech and freedom of/from religion, yet some people employed in some professions do not seem to have the same protections under the law. I can understand that these beliefs have no place in a school setting with impressionable young minds, but what I discuss in my personal time should not be grounds for any sort of censor. Roger Barr, as Walmart greeter, should have even more freedom to share his thoughts during his spare time.

    To me, it kind of boils down to the idea that we are losing freedoms in this country – it seems, more and more, that unless your beliefs reflect those of a certain conservative populace, you should keep quiet or risk public ridicule and censor. These same people scream about losing THEIR rights and say THEIR religion is in peril, but they are the first to snatch away equal rights from others. Sadly, we are losing the capacity for intelligent debate and real thinking.

    • August 8, 2011 at 12:17 pm

      Jenny: I don’t think we should kowtow to corporate factions that want to dictate their policies/procedures to their employees 24/7, and I don’t think we should kowtow to the moralists either. This is a free country. We are allowed to do, think and say what we like, or that was true the last time I checked. What we should do is fight viciously against anyone who thinks they need us to censor ourselves, especially when the acts/speech involved aren’t made while on the clock or company property.

      • Jenny
        August 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm

        Rev Egg Plant: you are 100% correct, we need to fight viciously to keep our rights. The alternative is the continued dumbing-down of our society and letting ‘them’ take over. By ‘them’ I mean the ultra-conservatives that use their religion and patriotism as a way to ostracize any individual that doesn’t agree with them. Unfortunately, they have been gaining power in our society, and there are a lot of ignorant and/or naive people who are willing to agree with anything that is rolled in a coating of God and/or country.

        Unfortunately, there are a whole lot of people who don’t have the means (time and/or money) to effectively fight back. Fear of losing our livelihoods is what keeps many quiet – in these tough economic times, it is often far easier to ‘shut up and put up’ than make waves. We need to join together to publicize these wrongs and help each other keep our freedoms. I think every case like Roger’s has an impact on each and every one of us – we should all be aware of the increasing infringements on our rights. I never thought, in this day and age, that we would be moving so rapidly backwards. Very sad and scary.

  23. Kim
    August 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

    This makes me seriously consider NEVER shopping at Walmart again.

    • August 8, 2011 at 11:26 am

      Me too, and I always loved Walmart.. not so much, now

  24. Lew Hughes
    August 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Typical Walmart corporate-bully tactics. That corporation seems to have attracted a large number of employees who act just the same way the Nazis did in Germany – “Hey, I’m just following the directions of my supervisor” – and no matter that what they did then, and are doing now, is unethical.

    There seems to be an almost total rejection of fairness in how Walmart treats ANY employee below a management level ….. the Walmart family appears to have an attitude of “treat ‘em like they’re shit and if they object – then FIRE THEIR ASSES !!!”

  25. August 8, 2011 at 11:25 am

    I would Sue the sh*t out of Wlmart on principle alone!! Not for money, except loss of pay, perhaps! This smells of “Big Brother”. Sadly, there are those who do know know what I am referring to. Call it what you will.. .. There is no room for one’s personal life to be under scrutiny at the workplace, no matter what the job is. Not when it is not harmful and the Constitution is supposed to support your rights.

  26. August 8, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Very interesting. Other companies have a similar policy but you have to sign their contract (morals contract). I worked for such a company and just made sure that my posts were completely private and made sure that I did not “friend” people from work. I no longer work there and give not a care to what anyone thinks. I think Mr. Barr should SUE since they did not let him read the documents much less sign them. It is highly stupid of Walmart to put out policies and then not allow the employees to read them, have access to them, nor sign that they acknowledge said receipt and reading. BAD Walmart. Bad.

  27. August 8, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Walmart is a corporate morass of mental illness. They browbeat their employees, refuse to pay them what they are worth, and basically put mom and pop stores out of business because they can sell cheap goods made with cheap overseas labor. I WILL NEVER SHOP AT THAT STORE. Those Texas fuckers that own that chain can kiss my gay ass.

  28. August 8, 2011 at 11:58 am

    An inability to access corporate policies makes those policies null and void. I rarely, if ever, shop at Walmart. Reading this article has only reinforced my strong dislike for Walmart, and any corporate nonsense policies that are imposed on their employees. What one does off shift is their business.

  29. misty
    August 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    I don’t like roger’s beliefs or what he wrote, but that is his opinion, and he should be allowed to have it. I think walmart should have minded their own business. They should not be able to fire him over this that is for sure. If they can do this then people everywhere should be afraid of looseing their jobs for things they do off the clock. If you go out drinking or if you smoke, if you live with someone and aren’t married, if you get a divorce, cheat on your spouse, or maybe even where you live could get you fired. Where does it end?? I for one will not be shopping at walmart again!!!

  30. nette
    August 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Yep… Wally World just got removed from our shopping destination list. Besides, seems like our local wal mart has stopped carrying alot of items that they cornered… like gardening supplies and various plants… No reorders either. This company ran out the family owned local suppliers, and now they discontinue these products. This company shouldn’t even exist, most of thier inventory comes from china anyway. BAN THIS STORE!!

  31. Ruthie
    August 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    1984.

  32. Nicholaus Arnold
    August 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I personally don’t find walmart to blame for this. The story has too many holes in it. Why was he suslender so many times and told everything was going to be okay? I believe he was asked to turn his profile private, and simply refused. Good for him, but if you challenge your boss, you might not like the consequences.

    This kind of marginalizing an employee’s private life goes on at many companies here in the US. Walmart’s probably evil, and not worth shopping at, but in this situation I don’t see what they did wrong. Would you want to hire someone for a customer service position that gets hate mail sent to you as their employer? I wouldn’t. If the employee couldn’t keep from upsetting so many people off the clock that I had to deal with it as his boss, I’d fire them. I certainly wouldn’t have tried giving him a second chance as the smiling person greeting my customers at the front door. Apparently walmart did 3 times. Shows what idiots they are, and is probably a better reason to not shop there. They care more about protecting inflammatory employees than the people paying them for services.

    • Nicholaus Arnold
      August 8, 2011 at 3:18 pm

      Misspelled “suspended” there in the first sentence. Apologies.

    • RJ
      August 8, 2011 at 9:21 pm

      I know for a fact that he DID turn his profile private after the very first conversation with the store manager. His store manager is NOT the problem. It was someone from “corporate” that had a problem with the situation. The reason it went back and forth so many times is because the store manager went to bat for him.

    • August 10, 2011 at 8:33 pm

      Mr. Barr was clearly not an “inflammatory employee.” I refer you to his performance review.

    • rlrose328
      August 31, 2011 at 4:18 pm

      Corporate put too much weight on the complaint sent to them. It shows that they care less about an employee than a letter sent in by 1 person. EITHER side could have influential spending power that could negatively affect their bottom line and they chose to the side of a nonemployee. I prefer employers who have some loyalty for their employees, especially when the issue at hand has nothing to do with their business. I’ve been a manager for many years and I would have tried my darndest to keep the employee rather than give so much weight to ONE letter received about a social media site, especially when my employees are not afforded adequate time to read the corporate policies much less sign to acknowledge receipt and understanding of said policies. Walmart’s business practices have shown, time and time again, to be very poor when it comes to employee relations. This is just another mark in the BAD column.

  33. Kelly
    August 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Hellooooooo……. Anyone ever heard of free speech???? Perhaps WalMart needs a copy of the Declaration of Independence, The US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Will they actually be allowed to read it it, can the copy leave the store? Come on, WalMart, give me an effin break, you have no right to control what another person says or does on their own time. he said and did nothing against the company. I have completely lost any kind of desire to shop at walMart again. Who’s getting fired for that? Roger’s store manager, the two ladies from corporate. I’ve heard that Sam Walton was a rotten bastard to work for, and I said that while i worked at Walmart in Myrtle Beach, SC. I didn’t get fired. Cut the double standard “wally”, you have a policy against over time, is that since your employees had to take you to court to get you to pay their overtime? You should have just allowed him to look over a copy of the media policy, and asked him to refrain from anything against the policy, that would have been reasonable, that also would have given him the choice to say, ” I don’t believe in censorship, I will look for work elsewhere.”

  34. Michael T. Hawkins
    August 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    First of all,let me inform you that Roger is my uncle and no matter what his beliefs are he will always have my greatest respect for him both as a person and family member.He has the right as an american citizen to state his beliefs during his time away from the job.Walmart is very,very wrong in treating him like that.If every company in the USA were to fire people for their comments away from work,the unemployment would be 4-times greater than what it is.Most people make comments worse than that and still keep their jobs.I can about bet that the corprate big-wigs at Wallyworld have made comments worse than that away from the office.I bet Sam Walton is turning over in his grave at what Walmart has become.Like so many other conpanies,they have turned to the dark world of Political Correctness!!!That’s right,a dark world that once you’ve gone there it’s very difficult to get out of.A world where those that run it THINK they can control you,try to make you one of them.Right or wrong,Roger just stated what he believed in a public way and some PC person decided he needed to “pay” for his comments.I’m glad he’s going to fight for his rights,and I stand behind him all the way.After all,he is family and that’s what families do.Or is that too PC for some of you.Either way,GO ROGER GO!!!!

  35. Jeania
    August 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I understand how companies dont want ANY negitive media. HOWEVER, if this gentleman did not sign any policy and was not made aware of this policy how can he be held liable for upholding it.? Sad to say more and more companies are looking at the social networking sites to see what people do in their spare/free/non-work time. I have even been ask in interviews for access to my facebook. I am sorry but that is private and I onlly allow who I want to view it. I dont have anything questionable however it is my and my “friends” personal comments and opions. As long as I do not post information about the company I am working for then its not their business.
    In this time of media and always having information at your fingertips, you do not have anything that is “private”. Back in the day, people didnt have all their beliefs and information right out there for all to see. As for his religous beliefs, thats between him and the Lord.
    This is just another reason not to shop at Walmart. They do have a record for the harsh and unfair treatment of their employees. I personally try to shop at locally owned business and support them. I only go to the hated Walmart when all else fails.

  36. August 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Walmart = Fascist This is who they are. Never shop there!

  37. August 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I think that Walmart should be prosecuted and he should sue them. I find it disgusting that they would fire someone over personal beliefs which is protected. Yet another reason to say NO to WALMART! This isn’t just about his job this is about his right and the right to work without being discriminated against. Its a moral issue for me, and I find it very offensive that they would be so judgmental.

  38. Conway Redding
    August 8, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Years ago I made a decision NEVER to shop at Walmart, because of what I perceived as the way they treat/manage their employees. Roger Barr’s experience has reconfirmed me in that decision.

  39. David Starkey
    August 8, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    This comes as no surprise from the company that locks empolyees in stores, requires them to work UNpaid overtime, discriminates against women, and tries to save money by understaffing stores to the point that a customer is sometimes completely unable to find anyone to help.
    They think that by puting a friendly face at the front door will make us all forget their shortcommings.
    I don’t know about the rest of you, but they sure as hell aren’t fooling ME.
    Now, maybe more of you will remember the fate of the poor man who lost his job to their draconian practices every time you see a greeter.
    I REFUSE to financially support the world’s largest company with the world’s smallest heart.
    NO MATTER WHAT YOU NEED, IF YOU CAN FIND IT ELSEWHERE, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO SO.

  40. heather arenivas
    August 8, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    wow i am speechless!!!!!!!!!!!! this is absolutley insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i am glad i do not work for them anymore

  41. RJ
    August 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    This is the regional manager’s phone number. Maybe some people can try to call him and talk to him about this situation.

    276-228-4473

    • sinmantyx
      August 9, 2011 at 1:07 am

      The REGIONAL manager – good. The manager here seems to be reasonable and his hands were tied by the higher-ups. I suspect that one reason is that the manager actually knew Roger and knew how he interacted with others. I think it is interesting that one of the posters on the status dared Roger to talk about this in person at Walmart. If he had done that – I wouldn’t be as staunchly on his side here. Customer service is customer service, and speaking about controversial topics AT WORK would be grounds for some sort of reprimand. Funny how I know someone at a work place I was once familiar with that talked about his dominionist Christian beliefs – to customers – all the time – without incident. :P

  42. August 8, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    What. The. Hqiz. This is beyond belief. The debate over end-of-life care, and to whom medical care should be extended, as well as the belief or non-belief in the existence of a soul, has been going on for many decades. People have a right to their opinions, and to express them in public fora, regardless of their employer. I say Walmart took one more step toward destroying their own reputation with this one. What they did was inexcusable and shameful – they owe Roger Barr a massive apology and his job back… although after how he was treated I wouldn’t blame him for a second if he told them to take a long walk off a short pier.

  43. thevenbede
    August 9, 2011 at 12:23 am

    If his personal opinion in measured reasoned discourse is viewed as a threat by corporate headquarters because of one letter (& what do we know about the letter-writer hmmm?, how tightly is she wrapped?); what on earth are the corporate gestapo going to do to the jokesters dissing Wally World by posting those pictures of obese, scantily-clad people shopping there?

  44. August 9, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Down with Walmart as we currently know it. It should turn into something else, like a market space for local businesses; no longer a monolithic thing as it currently is.
    I agree that John Walton would be displeased with the sad, sick, policies Walmart has adopted.
    I don’t shop there anymore.

    • iMustBeTakingCrazyPills
      August 21, 2011 at 5:24 am

      Really?

      Not particularly directed at you, Dan, you were just the last straw.

      How is it that any of you believe that walmart ever had a shred of decency?

      Name one thing in the whole history of the company that is good, aside from allowing you to buy more useless disposable shit with your allocated budget? Seriously.

      They’ve lost many suits for treating their employees as if they are of the same class of disposable trash their dirty, disorganized shelves are stocked with.

      Everything that company does drips with detestable disregard for the worker, the city, the establishments within any given city; by extension the country.

      Walmart itself is trash, the crap they sell is trash, and the people that shop there are…
      guess what?! Trash.

  45. August 9, 2011 at 8:33 am

    WalMart sucks. The whole practice of checking up on an employee by reading their FB page is rude, but Roger could have avoided it by setting his profile to “friends ONLY” which to me is not censorship, it’s just privacy control. I have heard other stories from former WalMart employees that lead me to believe that there is some degree of discrimination towards elderly, special needs, and femalle employees. WM looks good by hiring themk, but treats many like crap. I will not be making the cross-town journey to shop there anymore…not that I did very often anyhow.

  46. August 9, 2011 at 8:33 am

    He should sue Walmart for wrongful dismissal

  47. Randy Forster
    August 9, 2011 at 9:33 am

    We need to break up these businesses that are ” too big to fail ” not just walmart ( I refuse to capitalise any corporation because it is lends credence to the policies that have given corporations status as a ” person ” ) These ” legacy ” businesses need to go.

  48. August 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I think Walmart CEO’s need to read the CONSTITUTION! THEN, if they still REFUSE to abide by AMERICAN FREEDOMS, they need to get ALL of their UNAMERICAN business OUT of THIS country, & over into CHINA, where their products are mass produced anyway!

  49. RJ
    August 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Wonderful comments folks! This site has been shared with Wal-mart and the media. Keep watching your TV’s and reading your newspapers; this story is going to be there before long!

    …of course you can help the effort too! Don’t be afraid to copy this URL and send it to your local newspapers and TV stations. Roger’s situation is helped when more people speak up about this situation and expresss concern over what took place.

  50. matt m
    August 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    F#ck Walmart! Ill never step foot in that sh!thole again!

  51. David
    August 12, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    boo-hoo….the atheists, gays, and their supporters can certainly dish it out but sure can’t take it when the tables are turned…glad someone reported him and glad Walmart stood up for what is decent and moral. I used to hate Walmart but not any more…maybe he should move somewhere where they do limit the number of child births…he would feel right at home in communist China!

    • Roger Barr
      August 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      Hey David, you are missing the whole point! This isn’t about what I said but about corporations using what we say/do when we are off the clock, off company property/in our own homes on our PCs. The only mention of Walmart was as my place of employment. As for atheist and gays, Walmart employs plenty of them and as they told me they have no problem with me being an atheist because that would be discrimination on their part. In fact, on their employee website mywalmart.com they actually have a forum devoted to atheists. You, sir, come off to me as being a homophobic bigot and probably a Baptist church member as well. Maybe it would have been good if there had been child birth limits in place before you were born and then sensible folks wouldn’t have to be exposed to your mindless dribble! Have a nice day and thanks for shopping at Walmart!!!

  52. Roger Barr
    August 18, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Another important item left out of this this story and that I told the TV reporter is that I have a bi-polar mood disorder (unspecified) that I take medication to control. I use facebook as a form of therapy and that the personna I sometimes take on in making posts is not who I really am. I make statements to get people to thinking and to see how they react to these statements. Unless the posts are about politics or my feelings on religion they are just bullsh*t. This was simply over reaction by some lady who took it all too seriously!!!

  53. Virginia Cyrus
    July 17, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Walmart is totally running amuck, everything is getting out of hand, it’s becoming the most hated store in corporate america. I’ve had more people tell me they hated walmart than the ones that said they loved walmart. “I’m sorry Mr. & Mrs. Walton, you have worked hard to get “Wal-Mart” up and running. I know you made sacrifices, worked long hours to make the store “what it use to be”. I’m sorry your company is being run into the ground, the fruits of your labor was wasted, it was good while it lasted. NO ONE can run a company like you did. If you could only see what your company has become.”

    • July 18, 2012 at 12:20 am

      I couldn’t agree more! Thank you for your comment. :-)

  54. -------
    August 14, 2012 at 2:17 am

    The complaintant having disagreed with the associates personal beliefs, which are protected the freedom of speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and federal law, should have no effect in his place of work. Wal-Mart, in having terminated him has therfore violated their anti-discrimination policy by terminating the associate for his opinion. His beliefs have had no adverse effect on Wal-Mart itself. Any corporate officer or employee of Wal-Mart who had assisted in the termination of Barr should be promptly removed from their position for having violated his First Amendment rights.

    • August 14, 2012 at 5:17 am

      I whole-heartedly agree!

  55. MetalGoddess
    November 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I believe that in this country we have freedom of speech, opinion, thought, and expression. I think that his rights were violated by someone who was petty and malicious. I think it’s scary that the companies we work for think they have the right to control us and basically tell us what we can think and say. His post had nothing to do with Wal Mart. It was a general question and debate. Are we no longer allowed to question things and converse? Are we a free nation or are we not?

    • November 8, 2012 at 2:15 am

      According to Walmart, we’re not. Sadly, it seems our government agrees with them, or we’d have better protections for employees. Hopefully that will change in the next 4 years! :-)

  56. November 8, 2012 at 11:33 am

    No, of course you don’t have freedom of speech or expression, silly. That’s just one more in the stack of illusions. If you’ve seen Facebook, you should know that. Ever see those calls for certain sites to be taken down?

    • November 9, 2012 at 4:22 am

      So true, Temy!

  57. Cristopher
    December 5, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I worked for Walmart and once the heads made ​​massive layoffs, I fired myself and many of my colleagues for no reason, this is unacceptable.
    Now I am saving money to start my own business, as I have had the bad experience of working for others, I want to create a store that sells smartphones last generation, that would be my source of income and so I can work freely without having to bear a yelling boss to tell me what I have to do, I will be the owner of my own company and besides that I will be an independent contractor, also earn much more money than being a mere employee of walmart.

    • December 6, 2013 at 2:49 am

      Good luck with your new venture!

  58. Chrystal
    January 15, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I have worked for Walmart three different times in oklahoma and i will never work for them again! I cant stand having to shop there. I dont believe corporate was right in the way they handled the situation, and yes i agree with Mr. Barr that they took it to seriously. Come on people, really.

  1. August 8, 2011 at 3:39 am
  2. August 22, 2011 at 11:00 pm
  3. August 25, 2011 at 8:37 am
  4. June 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm

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