A Walmart assistant manager was fired over his derogatory comments in a Facebook post with a photo of women in religious garb shopping in the discount department store, the company said Thursday.
The employee of the Hamburg, N.Y., Walmart wrote in the caption, accompanying a photo of two Muslim women veiled in black: "Halloween came early this year." He added, using explicit language, that the women should remove the religious attire.
A Walmart spokeswoman said that the company was made aware of the offensive post on Aug. 30, the same day it was put up, and "terminated the associate." Walmart refers to its employees as associates.
"We have high expectations for our associates, and he failed to meet these expectations," spokeswoman Kayla Whaling told Al Jazeera.
The fired assistant manager apologized for his comments when interviewed by The Buffalo News.
"I’m truly, honestly sorry about the whole thing," the newspaper quoted him as saying.
Walmart's decision to fire its employee followed a request for discipline from the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Ryan Mahoney from CAIR told Al Jazeera that his office is "glad that Walmart acted appropriately in this matter" but is "never happy when someone loses their job."
Mahoney said CAIR’s New York office receives multiple reports every week of Muslims being targeted in alleged hate crimes and discrimination.
"In the past week, we had a location where there’s a proposed mosque get covered in decapitated pig heads," Mahoney said.