A Walmart employee in Albany, New York was fired from his job after redeeming $2 worth of discarded cans he found while gathering the store’s shopping carts. Walmart didn’t have a problem with the $3.10 worth of empty beer cans Smith had found in the parking lot, but did have an issue with the $2 he received from cans and bottles left in a shopping cart located just inside of the store’s entrance.

According to WNYT, 52-year-old Smith is a formerly homeless convict who got out of prison in May after serving more than 13 years for a bank robbery. His job at Walmart was a chance at a new beginning and would help him support his two teenage kids. Smith was almost at the end of his 90-day probation period with the company when he was terminated. Walmart claims that by turning in the $2 worth of cans that were technically located inside store property, he violated Walmart policy.

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Following the incident, Smith underwent an interrogation by three security managers and was asked to sign a statement. He did not have his glasses at the time and could not properly read it, but he still signed it in order to risk violation of his parole. “I didn’t know you couldn’t take empties left behind. They were garbage,” Smith told the Albany Times Union. “I didn’t even get a chance to explain myself. They told me to turn in my badge.”

On the day he was fired, Smith had been working overtime — a total of four hours over his scheduled shift. A GoFundMe drive for Smith has been set up by supporters and is currently at $13,000, well surpassing its goal of $5,000.


Contact the author at marie.lodi@jezebel.com.

Image via Getty.