One of the more controversial Walmart employee positions is the chain’s receipt checkers. Numerous shoppers who’ve frequented the retailer have aired their gripes with workers stationed at exits. Some have even performed subtle acts of resistance, such as refusing to take their receipt back, forcing the employee to hold onto it and discard the receipt themselves.
A few shoppers get into altercations with overzealous receipt checkers who won’t let them leave a store if the customer in question won’t show them their receipt.
While some of these receipt-checking altercations can get heated and result in the police showing up to quell the disputes that stem from a slip of paper, other shoppers manage to highlight their dissatisfaction with the policy without the high drama.
One such TikToker (@protectblackpeople) uploaded a viral TikTok that highlighted how seriously a Walmart receipt checker took their job, even enlisting the assistance of a dedicated tool to ensure she was scrutinizing receipts to the best of her ability.
In the clip, @protectblackpeople records the employee standing at the store’s exit chatting with a customer while holding something in her right hand. It isn’t until a few seconds into the clip that the object becomes more easily discernible: it’s a magnifying glass.
The clip quickly transitions to the worker checking the TikToker’s receipt. She stands there, glass in hand, holding it over the paper as she peers down at the item names printed on it before the video ends.
“POV: you at Walmart and you about to leave and you see this lol okay miss lady she’s not missing anything,” @protectblackpeople writes in a text overlay for the video. The TikToker adds some additional commentary in the video’s caption: “Target would never lol.”
Although the poster took the seriousness of the woman’s receipt inspection duties in stride, there were several other TikTokers who seemed miffed at the thought of someone stopping them on the way out of their store to ensure that they paid for their products.
“Nope! I don’t stop for them at Walmart. Keep on walking,” one person wrote, prompting @protectblackpeople to reply that they are planning to do the same thing in the future.
This sentiment was echoed by another user: “I’m going right around cuz u do not have to stop.”
Another mentioned that they thought Walmart’s staff would be better used manning checkout lanes than receipt checking. “If they are so concerned about everyone stealing then they should have actual cashiers,” they penned.
Others said that Walmart isn’t the only retailer taking extreme measures to crack down on theft. “Happen to me at Costco they had the nerve to check the diaper bag,” one user wrote.
As is the case for videos that touch upon this topic, a discussion on the requirement for customers to stop for these workers arose. One commenter argued: “What y’all don’t know is you don’t have to stop for them you just keep walking and there’s nothing they can do maybe they shouldn’t have self checkout.”
Another remarked: “I simply don’t stop. can’t legally stop me so why wait.”
Target would never lol♬ Everybody – Nicki Minaj
For the most part, the aforementioned TikTokers claiming you don’t need to show your receipt, and there’s nothing Walmart can legally do about it, are right. That is, unless you reside in these five states, according to The Hive Law: California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Washington.
The legal resource says that in these parts of the country, refusing to show your receipt at Walmart is officially recognized as “probable cause for shoplifting,” which means that these stores can legally detain you and call up the police if they want.
However, if a location in any of the other 45 states tries to prevent you from leaving the store for not showing your receipt, this “violates the 4th amendment” and “discriminates against the shopper.”
In 2021, a Walmart shopper named Lesleigh Nurse received a $2.1 million judgment after suing the chain which wrongfully accused her of attempting to steal groceries. She insisted she didn’t do anything wrong at self-checkout and after lengthy legal proceedings, was ultimately exonerated in court.
It should be noted that at stores like Costco, which require memberships, shoppers must adhere to receipt-checking policies per their membership agreement.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Walmart via email and @protectblackpeople via TikTok comment for further information.