Sunday, January 2, 2011

There's hope for Walmart!

So, YouTube kept crashing my internet connection which made it impossible for me to share my story on it. You may have seen the abbreviated version of the video that I was able to upload. So without further delay, the story:

Last night I went to walmart with my brother and girlfriend. Very quickly in my shopping venture a woman behind me said something about shoes, I started walking a lot faster and cut through some aisles hoping to lose her. She headed me off at a turn and told me I needed shoes. To the best of my memory, here is what was said.

Let me apologize in advance about how long this is....

Employee 1 "You need to leave you don't have shoes."

Me "Why?"

Employee 1 "You need shoes in this store."

Me "Is there law against it?"

Employee 1 "YES it is against the law."

Me "You mean the health code?"


Me "Really because I have a document from the health department saying otherwise.

Employee 1 "Well you can speak to a manager if you want."

Me "Yes please."

Employee 1 "[Radio chatter] Has a piece of paper saying being barefoot isn't against the law."

Employee 1 "(Yelling to another employee) Who's on manager right now?"

Employee 2 "[Manager's name]"

Employee 1 "This man claims that there is no law against being barefoot"

Employee 2 "[chuckle]"

Employee 1 "[To another employee] This man has a piece of paper saying that the health code doesn't say he has to wear shoes."

Employee 3 "Yeah it is a law it's because we have food and serve groceries here."

Me "This paper proves there is no law against it."

Employee 3 "It is a state law that you need shoes in here."

Me "NO it is not a law and if this is a matter of liability I would be happy to sign away any liability."

Employee 3 "[Using Employee 1's radio] Are you on your way to Jewelry?"

Me "[Polite up beat small talk]"

"Employee 3 "Here she comes, coming from the other direction."

Me "Hello I am Hayward Gatch how are you?"

Asst Manager "I am [Name] They did tell me some things before I got here if you have a doctors note or notice the policy can be waved but it is a health code that you cannot be in this store barefoot."

Me "It is not a health code as this paper shows. I accessed these from a site that has signed letters from every states health department verifying there is no health code against being barefoot in establishments."

Manager "Well it is a law and I was told when I became a manager that it was a health code that you cannot be barefoot in here."

Me "Do you have proof that it is a law?"

Manager "No I don't have proof but I can say that this is a private establishment and we have a rule against being barefoot. You can though talk to the manager though because as an assistant manager I can't do anything for you but he has the authority to bend the rules a little bit."

Me "Is his name [Name]"

Manager "Yes it is, and I apologize for any inconvenience."

Me "Hey, no problem hopefully we can get this all resolved [handshake]"

Manager "Alright."

Me "Have a nice night."

Manager "You too."

As always,

Barefooting is easy
Barefooting is good for you
Barefooting is NOT illegal
Join the revolution

Please comment!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Well, Good Luck with Walmart!

    Walmart is the one and only place that I have gone down in flames every time I try to convince them.
    Apprently corporate says there is no rule, but it seems every Walmart has the same rule, that I go anyway, and the Manager stands like a solid steel wall behind it and will not budge for his life.
    I have tried a few stores too :(

  3. Ha, yeah I really hope the 180 page document (Rhode Island Food Code) will make me look somehow more credible. Then I can cite particular things. It would be hilarious if they themselves couldn't cite the code like, "Are you familiar with Chapter 3-306?"
    "Contamination by Consumer, no mention of shoes... If no where else it would be THERE don't you think?"

  4. Well, I hope it works out.
    Usually the pattern is . Health Code and when that fails, Liabilty and when that fails then they just say it's store policy and they have the right to have that policy since it's private property.
    That is what my Walmart manager told me. Walmart corporate says there is no policy, but they leave it up to the manager to decide a policy and will stand behind him.
    Hopfully you get an open minded manager.

  5. It just a personal problem and they are power tripping. I guess because Walmart is private property, the store manager can ask you too leave, and then if you don't comply, they can call the cops and get you for trespassing...i also work for a right to work state. Although I have no conclusive evidence, I'm pretty sure its just a personal problem and they power trip. Granted this is an old article, here is URL stating that it is OKAY to go barefoot in Walmart.

  6. Thanks for the link, anything written down that I can have printed? Documentation?