A woman in the St. Louis, Missouri area who applied for a customer service job was rejected. The reason? The company told her that her “ghetto” name disqualified her.
In a now-viral post on Facebook, Hermeisha Robinson shared a screenshot of an email she received from a Mantality Health employee named Jordan Kimler in Chesterfield, Missouri, informing her that her application for the job had been rejected due to her name allegedly being “suggestively ghetto.” Her post has more than 11,000 shares as of this writing.
“[W]e do not consider candidates who have suggestive ‘ghetto names,’ ” Kimler wrote. “We wish the best in your career search.”
Robinson stated in her post that her feelings were so hurt by the reason for her rejection that she’s now second-guessing her name. However, her cousin, Miltina Burnett, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Robinson’s mother (who is deceased) “loved” her daughter’s name, and that she’s “not going to change it.” Burnett added that Robinson was named after her father, Herman, who passed away when she was young.
In addition to Robinson, another black woman, Dorneshia Zachary, said she had been denied a job at the same company for the same reason, according to a local CBS affiliate.
“The company looked at my name and said we don’t care about what you’ve done in life your name is going is going to dismiss you completely,” Zachary said.
In a text message to Burnett, Mantality Health clinic director Jack Gamache said the company’s account on the Indeed job search website was hacked by a former employee, and apologized for the email. As of publication, Grit Post was unable to verify whether or not Jordan Kimler is still with Mantality Health, as a LinkedIn profile with that name and place of employment has since been taken offline.
University of Missouri-St. Louis cybersecurity professor Jianli Pan said it’s technically possible a disgruntled ex-employee could break into their former employer’s email system, depending on a company’s level of investment in information security.
“If you have a guy who knows everything about the infrastructure of the company, it’s going to happen,” Pan told the Post-Dispatch. “It’s up to the company how important it is for them to keep their systems secure. But that’s not free. It takes money and training and designating some expert to be in charge of such issues.”
Despite Gamache’s insistence that the emails were sent from a hacked account, Indeed told KMOV-TV that there was no evidence of any hacking.
“Account holders are responsible for use of their password and we recommend frequent updates and complete confidentiality of your password,” an Indeed statement read. “Our investigation into this particular account shows no evidence of compromise.”
Scott Alden is a freelance contributor covering national politics, education, and environmental issues. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in the suburbs of Detroit.