(NEW YORK POST) – A Missouri woman said she’s hurt and distraught after being denied a job because her name was considered too “ghetto” — but company officials insist a hacker sent the racist message.
Hermeisha Robinson, of Bellefontaine Neighbors, shared her experience with Mantality Health in Chesterfield in a Facebook post on Monday, saying she was discriminated against due to her name — even though she had what it takes to fill the job post.
“I have a public service announcement,” Robinson wrote in an all-caps post. “I am very upset because today I received an email about this job that I applied for as a customer service representative at Mantality Health … I know I’m well qualified for the position as they seen on my resume!”
Robinson’s post continued: “They discriminated against me because of my name which they considered it 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 friends to share her post, saying the “discrimination has to stop,” but company officials contend the message isn’t authentic, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Kevin Meuret, the CEO of the clinic that treats men with low testosterone, told the newspaper on Tuesday that someone from outside Missouri hacked into its email system, most likely a disgruntled former employee.
“Thank you for your interest in careers at Mantality Health,” read the response to Robinson. “Unfortunately we do not consider candidates that have suggestive ‘ghetto’ names. We wish you the best in your career search.”
Meuret said about 20 potential employees got emails from the hacker. Reports have since been filed with police in both Chesterfield and St. Louis County, he said.
“I’m a father of three daughters, and that young lady getting that [response] is horrible,” Meuret told the newspaper. “That young lady opened something that must have felt like a freight train, and that’s unacceptable.”
Meuret promised to “pursue this even if it becomes a federal matter,” he told the Post-Dispatch.
In a statement to The Post, Meuret said the password for an independent job board site used by the company was compromised Monday.
“We are currently working with law enforcement to identify the perpetrator and consider appropriate legal action,” the statement read. “We share the anger and frustration of those who received these bogus emails.”
Robinson, meanwhile, told The Post Wednesday that she’s still reeling from the pure hatred exposed in the hacked message.
“The first thing that went through my mind is how could someone just outright say something so mean like that,” Robinson said. “I wasn’t expecting that from a job. I didn’t name myself, I didn’t give myself this name. How can people be so mean, and so horrible?”
It was the first time Robinson applied to the company and she had not been contacted by anyone investigating the matter as of Wednesday, she said.
“It just makes me not want to do anything,” she said of the entire ordeal. “I don’t want to do anything anymore: go outside, say my name to people, anything.”
Robinson’s job hunt is still ongoing. She wouldn’t accept a job at the testosterone clinic even if one were offered to her at this point, she said.
“I wouldn’t feel safe,” she told The Post. “If some hacker got my email to reach me, they have my Social Security number, my birthday, they have everything. It just wouldn’t be a good working environment.”
Robinson’s cousin, Miltina Burnett, posted a screenshot of a message she received Monday from company officials indicating that a former employee hacked into the company’s system.
But regardless of the authenticity of the messages, the damage for Robinson has been very real, she said.
“Discrimination is real, and it has to stop,” Robinson told The Post. “You shouldn’t discriminate against anybody.”