Longtime greeter at Sam’s Club in S.C. says he was put on leave due to autism

FLORENCE, S.C. (WPDE/CNN) - Hundreds have banded together to help a South Carolina man with autism find a new job after he says he was put on leave without pay from Sam’s Club because he didn’t want to work the customer service desk.

Frank Eason was a greeter for more than 20 years at the Sam’s Club in Florence, S.C. He believes he was discriminated against because of his autism when he was put on leave without pay. (Source: WPDE/CNN)

Frank Eason, who has autism, was a greeter for more than 20 years at the Sam’s Club in Florence, S.C. But for the past two months, he has been on leave without pay.

"I’ve been missing being at work for the past eight weeks,” Eason said. “They laid me off without any pay. That didn’t make any sense... That ain’t right. That’s just wrong. I was disappointed.”

Eason’s aunt says his job description was rewritten in July, and he was asked to perform all tasks at the customer service desk. His family requested accommodations for his autism but says they were denied.

"They didn’t want me as just a door greeter now. They also wanted me to do stuff at the computer, cash registers, the customer service desk. I didn’t want to go work at the service desk,” Eason said.

The next day, Eason was put on leave without pay. He believes he was discriminated against because of his autism.

Eason, who lives independently, has been struggling to meet monthly expenses without his only source of income, according to a GoFundMe page his aunt started Thursday night. The campaign has since raised more than $22,000 to help Eason while he looks for another job.

In addition, hundreds of people in the community have reached out to Eason, and he says he has received other job offers.

Sam’s Club said in a statement that Eason “continues to have a role” at the store, and they hope he’ll be back to serving customers soon.

Eason and his family say they have a lot of questions before he would commit to returning to Sam’s Club.

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