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Woman says her job application was denied because her name is too 'ghetto'

Elise Solé
Yahoo Lifestyle

A woman says her job application at a health clinic was rejected because her name is too “ghetto,” but the company claims it’s the victim of a hack job.

On Monday, Hermeisha Robinson, 27, shared a Facebook screenshot of an email she received from Mantality Health, a medical office in Chesterfield, Mo. She wrote: “I am very upset because today I received an email about this job that I applied for as a customer service representative…I know I’m well-qualified for the position as they seen on my resume. They discriminated against me because of my name which they considered to be ‘ghetto’ for their company! My feelings are very hurt and they even got me second-guessing my name trying to figure out if my name is really that ghetto.” Robinson asked her followers to share her post “because discrimination has to stop!”

The photo showed an email which read, “Thank you for your interest in careers at Mantality Health. Unfortunately, we do not consider candidates that have suggestive ‘ghetto’ names. We wish you the best in your career search.” It was allegedly signed by a nurse practitioner named Jordan Kimler (Mantality has stated that, while this is a real employee, Kimler has nothing to do with the hiring process at the company).

The post was shared 11,000 times and obtained 5,700 reactions from people calling the email “cruel,” and urging Robinson to sue for discrimination. Robinson did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.

A representative of Mantality Health, a clinic that treats men with low testosterone, did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment; however, a statement on the company website reads, “The password for the outside job board site used by Mantality was compromised on August 13, 2018. We are currently working with law enforcement to identify the perpetrator and consider appropriate legal action. We share the anger and frustration of those who received these bogus emails.”

CEO Kevin Meuret told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the hacking was probably committed by an ex-employee. “I’m a father of three daughters, and that young lady getting that [response] is horrible,” Meuret told the paper. “That young lady opened something that must have felt like a freight train, and that’s unacceptable.”

Reports were filed with the Chesterfield Police Department (which did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment) and the cybercrime department of St. Louis County.

Meuret also said that 20 other applicants received false emails and that he is trying to obtain the hacker’s IP address from the employment website Indeed.com, as that is how Robinson applied for the position. Company spokesperson Jack Gamache also told local news station KMOV that its Indeed.com account was compromised. 

But according to KMOV, Indeed says hacking is unlikely. “Account security is of utmost importance to Indeed and something that we diligently monitor,” read a company statement. “Account holders are responsible for use of their password and we recommend frequent updates and complete confidentiality of your password. Our investigation into this particular account shows no evidence of compromise.” An Indeed spokesperson did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. 

Another victim named Dorneshia Zachery told KMOV, “The company looked at my name and said we don’t care about what you’ve done in life — your name is going to dismiss you completely.”

Robinson’s cousin Miltina Burnett posted a Facebook photo of the offensive email and wrote that the incident made her loved one “cry and question her name, whether she should change her name to fit in corporate America.” Burnett also explained that Robinson’s late mother chose the unique moniker for her daughter. “I have never seen something so outright racist.”

In a follow-up post, Burnett says she was contacted by the company’s clinical director “saying that [a] disgruntled ex-employee sent that racist email to potential candidates.”

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