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• Walmart said over the weekend that it has changed its mind about the firing of a Michigan employee who went to the aid of a woman who was being attacked in a Walmart parking lot there.

According to a variety of stories, Kristopher Oswald was sitting in his car early Sunday morning while on a break from his $8.70 an hour overnight stocking job when he saw a woman being attacked by a man (who ended up being identified as her ex-boyfriend). He went to help her, and ended up being pummeled by the man and several of his friends while the woman drove away.

Oswald suffered only minor injuries, but also suffered the indignity of being fired when the store's assistant managers said they were required by company policy to let him go.

(The ex-boyfriend was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, malicious destruction of property and domestic violence.)

After the story went viral, with Walmart being widely criticized for firing a man who was acting only as a Good Samaritan, the company has decided to offer Oswald his job back.

"We looked into the situation, reviewed the facts, talked to witnesses," says Brooke Buchanan, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. "While Mr. Oswald broke a policy of ours — a policy put in place to protect our associates and our customers ... we realize Mr. Oswald's intentions were good."

Oswald reportedly has not decided whether to accept Walmart's offer.
KC's View:
In that situation, someone somewhere at Walmart has to say, our first reaction should not be to fire this fellow. Yes, we need to gather facts and details. We need to get a sense of context. But we'll make the personnel decision at the end of the process, not at the beginning. And we're going to do it this way not just because it is right, but because everything we say and do is going to be on display for a global audience, and we need to not just do the right thing, but make sure it looks like we are doing it the right way.