Woman who used the ‘r-word’ at man who allegedly made racist comment at Walmart gets fired from job at Arc

An East Kingston woman who reported an incident of racial harassment at a Town of Ulster Walmart has been fired from her job because of language she used in the aftermath of the alleged incident.

Kristin Montalvo said that she shopping for groceries with her husband and two daughters on April 7 when a man approached her and said, “Is this a Mexico market?” Montalvo said that when she confronted the man over the remark, he repeated the statement and told her, “It’s freedom of speech, I can say whatever I want to whoever I want.”

Following the confrontation, Montalvo recorded video on her cell phone as she followed the unidentified man through and out of the store while loudly and at times profanely berating him over the remark. Montalvo later reported the incident to Ulster town police who told her that they could not make an arrest since the man did not appear to have broken any law. Video of the incident was posted on the Facebook page of the local social justice activist group Rise Up Kingston, where it garnered thousands of views. But among those who saw it were, apparently, Montalvo’s employers at The Arc of Ulster-Greene. Montalvo is employed as a program specialist at the Pecora Center, a day program for adults with intellectual disabilities. 

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Montalvo said that two days after the video was posted, she was called into a supervisor’s office and informed that she was being let go, based on the language and behavior portrayed in the video. Montalvo said that her supervisor did not go into detail. But, at one point during the video she calls the man a “retard.”

The town of Ulster Walmart where the alleged incident took place

In a prepared statement, The Arc of Ulster-Greene confirmed that Montalvo was fired because of her actions at Walmart. “It was very unfortunate what was said to Kristin and the Arc of Ulster Greene does not endorse any type of disrespectful or hateful language being used by people,” wrote Arc spokeswoman Lori McCabe. “That being said … we will not tolerate any employee of our organization to refer to anyone using a derogatory term that we have fought decades to be removed from all vocabulary.”

Montalvo said she thinks it’s unfair that she was fired for an angry outburst while she was not on duty or wearing anything identifying her as an Arc employee. Montalvo said shortly before her termination, she had been praised by fellow employees for engaging with clients at the Pecora Center.

“I shouldn’t have used that word. I said it out of anger, because I was just so mad at this guy who had insulted my family,” said Montalvo. “I would never say that to anyone at my job or anything like that.”

There are 25 comments

  1. Tyrone

    Seriously?
    That is the dumbest thing I’ve heard.
    My guess is that everyone in her office should be fired because I can guarantee you that they have each
    said something at some point in their lives equally “offensive”…and the woman was freaking out because
    an old white racist had just verbally attacked her.
    Shame on Arc.
    Shame on that.

    1. Nick Alba

      Outrageous. Ms. Montalvo is twice the victim. This is the ultimate insult added onto injury. After this incident, Ms. Montalvo deserves the support of all fair minded, anti-racism people among us. Apparently Arc does not fall into that category. Disgusting, and yes, shame on Arc.

  2. AnonArcStaff

    Sadly, the code of conduct for the ARC is very clear: you can be terminated for any conduct on our off the clock. Even if she didn’t drop the “r” bomb (which staff aren’t allowed to say at all), she probably would have been fired for videotaping her encounter and escalating it by following the man through the store. Basically anything that makes the agency look bad, they’ll fire you for. She can fight it with the union, but the fact that it’s on video and went viral doesn’t bode well for her. Which is a shame, because no company should own you on your own time… but it’s clear in your employment contract that they do.

    1. Carlos

      They don’t own you, actually, and you should give yourself a swift slap across the face for believing they do. Paper is garbage. It means dick diddly nothing at the end of the WORK day. You can be sure if ZERO arc employees showed up following the termination of a staff member, that upper management geniuses would reconsider if they have any flexibility with their “retarded” policy. Because at the end of the day, they all want that crazy money and if you’re all not there —- crisis. State/County/Fed funding? A quick phone call to the governing agency that audits you and watch how fast your “clients” get relocated if no staff is there to supervise them. You own them, they don’t own you.

  3. Annoymous

    This is ridiculous she was just standing up for her family because of stupid racist people in the world, she should have not been fired in my opinion. She was wronged and shouldnt be held accountable with what she says out of anger, and she had every right to be angry. SMH ARC is a horrible place to work.

  4. Heather

    Can anyone tell me what ARC stands for?
    Oh yeah…
    Association for RETARDED Citizens…
    Ummm….are they planning on changing their name?
    Isn’t it politically incorrect and offensive?

    1. Mitch

      ARC doesn’t stand for Association for Retarded Citizens anymore. Besides, she should be grateful she lost her job there. Talk about a place that fucking underpays their employees….Let’s go wipe asses for minimum wage!

    2. Daryl Sweat

      Retard, moron, imbecile, etc, etc. These were all medical terms at one point, until taken over by modern slang.

      Using the terms in their intended setting isn’t offensive in the least.

  5. Steve

    Is this a Mexican market? LOL. I don’t see anything racist in that. Calling white people supremacists is far more racist. Given the fact that blacks and latinos commit far more hate crimes than whites, it’s rather that non-whites who need to be called out for their racism against white people. Good thing that bigot got fired.

  6. Jake Gibbs

    Haha, if this was a white person, Republican…..she would be cheering and supporters would too. She can now learn to code

  7. Robert Leclaire

    I’m loving the fact that these psychos who have public meltdowns are all getting fired. Usually it’s because they assault someone wearing a MAGA hat but this is almost as good.

  8. Spencer

    The lady chose to take offense.
    She escalated her entitlement by following a man around harassing him, clearly unhinged and in an emotional frenzy.
    And recorded her embarrassing childishness.
    What a hypocrite. This emotional wreck is gonna lecture people on “racism” – Mexico and mexican cultures arent “race” any more than America is a race.

    Deranged leftists creating civil war while on a high horse of social justice – all encouraging childish tantrums in order to control the language and thoughts of others. Sad. Just makes you all look mentally ill and like traitors to the USA.

    Montalvo might wanna read the US Constitution and bill of rights before she depends on law to bully people who disagree with her TDS.

  9. Daryl Sweat

    Hypocrisy at it’s finest.

    Dude says something offensive.

    She has to top it. And THEN go to the police, who likely laughed at her as soon as she walked back out. And because that didn’t get her one-upsmanship enough attention, she had to post it all over the internet.

    Tolerance doesn’t work like that.

    If you’re going to be tolerant, you have to be tolerant of everyone. The racially different, the ignorant, the mentally challenged, and yes, even “White Supremacists”. As long as they’re not harming you or breaking the law, to do anything less than display tolerance in the face of anything is quite plainly intolerance.

    Now, if this woman had instead educated the man on the hardships she’s had to overcome and why she’s earned the right to shop alongside him, instead of going crazy at him while stalking him out of the store, she’d be praised as a national hero.

    Tolerance isn’t a one way street. But if the other lane is blocked, that doesn’t mean you slam the gas and swerve into a head on collision. That just shows that you’re no better than they are. Worse, perhaps, since you know better

  10. Jam

    If this was your bro, sis , mom g-mom!! You would all freak!!! Especially if this was from a person watching them daily!!! She “got mad” so she can say what she wants? Certain jobs are for certain people!

  11. Free Speech is Funny

    Wants someone policed for speech she doesn’t like, gets policed for speech someone else doesn’t like.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  12. Lu Muller

    Ms. Montalvo ended up being much worse than the original man. If she could not control her temper she cannot be around kids or challenged people.

  13. Citizen

    They were both wrong but following the guy didn’t help especially when you have kids to set an example for right there with you. The best way to handle a racist and their remarks is with sarcasm, make them feel and look stupider than they already do.

  14. ShonMasonFeng

    So the guy may have said something bad (which I believe is not actually caught on video). But then she follows him around, video tapes the whole thing, follows him until he leaves the store, and calls him demeaning names.

    That sounds to me like harassment and stalking, in addition to the use of hateful language. She should absolutely be fired. What company would want to work with someone like that? As an adult you can’t just follow somebody around yelling at them when they are trying to peacefully withdraw from the situation.

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