Hermeisha Robinson said in a Facebook post that she had applied for a job at a company specializing in testosterone treatment for men.
But this week, Robinson learned she had been rejected for a customer service position she had believed she was “well qualified for.”
On Monday, Robinson, who was seeking a job with Mantality Health, was one of about 20 applicants who received an email from what appeared to be an employee from the company’s Chesterfield, Missouri, location, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The email, according to Robinson’s screenshot posted on Facebook, said the following:
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“Thank you for your interest in careers at Mantality Health. Unfortunately we do not consider candidates that have suggestive ‘ghetto’ names. We wish the best in your career search.”
Robinson took to Facebook with a screenshot of the email accompanying her post, which had more than 2,600 comments and had been shared more than 10,000 times by Wednesday.
“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 wrote on Facebook. “I WOULD LIKE FOR EVERYONE TO SHARE THIS POST BECAUSE DISCRIMINATION HAS TO STOP!”
The company behind the email has since said it believes the emails were sent by a former employee who somehow gained access to its emails through a job search site, according to KSDK and other media outlets. The emails were signed with the name of a current employee who was not involved, the company’s owner, Kevin Meuret, told the Riverfront Times.
Aside from Robinson, the Riverfront Times reported on at least two other women who posted screenshots of the same email from Mantality Health.
Another woman in the St. Louis area, Dorneshia Zachery, showed KMOV she also received the email.
“My name has meaning to me,” Zachery said in an interview with KMOV. “It’s not ghetto.”
Meuret told the Post-Dispatch he filed reports with law enforcement agencies in regard to what he believes was the work of a hacker outside of Missouri.
According to the company’s website, it also has offices in Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin.
By Tuesday night, Chesterfield police told KSDK they were looking into the matter.
The company posted a statement on its homepage on Wednesday, calling the emails sent to applicants “bogus.” It read:
“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.”