Unemployed female veteran

Case Study #3
Unemployed female veteran hits out at Macy’s after-sales boss said her ‘mindset’ wasn’t right for a store job because she’d been to war

o Army Specialist Kayla Reyes claims she was denied a job at Macy’s in February because her military service made her unsuitable
o Recently returned from a 1-year deployment to Afghanistan
o Attended a job interview at a Fresno, California shopping mall and was told she had no skills to deal with customers
o Complained to her friends on Facebook – and the post was widely shared online
o Macy’s subsequently offered her job – which Reyes turned down
By James Nye, Published: 09:06 EST, 30 March 2014 | Updated: 14:20 EST, 30 March 2014
Denied: Kayla Reyes claims that when she interviewed for a position at Macy’s she was told that her service in the Army made her ill-suited for the job. A 21-year-old Afghanistan veteran claims she was denied a job in Macy’s specifically because of her service in the war-torn nation. Kayla Reyes says she interviewed for a job on the sales floor at Fresno’s Fashion Fair mall in February but was told that she wouldn’t be able to relate to customers because she had seen combat. Reyes, who enlisted in the military at the age of 17, claims that the interview took a turn for the worse when her 4-year army career came up and that the hiring manager said, ‘Being that you’ve been over there, you wouldn’t really know how to approach people.’
Stunned, Reyes said the manager continued and said that having spent a year dealing with IED’s and the Taliban, ‘Once a customer’s in your face, you wouldn’t know how to do it. You wouldn’t know how to react.’ Collecting herself, Reyes said that when she realized the hiring manager had serious misconceptions, she tried to object. However, Reyes said that instead of listening, the Macy’s manager insisted that a role in-store security was probably better suited for her. ‘She’s like, ‘Well I’ve been here 15 years, I know you wouldn’t be able to do good here.’ She’s like, ‘There’s another job in loss prevention,’ and she was like, ‘That’s what you’re good for–that’s what you do,’ Reyes said to CBS.
California: Reyes has said that when she applied for a job at Fresno’s Fashion Fair mall in February the interviewing manager said that an army career did not mean she was qualified for a sales position on the floor. Having returned from her deployment to enlist in the National Guard, Reyes said that she was disappointed by her treatment and took to Facebook to share her experience. ‘It kind of shocked me because I’m with her almost every day. I talk to her on a daily basis, and she’s the most social person I know,’ said Justine Williams, Reyes’s best friend, in reaction to the response Reyes received.
Her update was shared tens of thousands of times and Reyes received messages of support from across the country. Macy’s released a statement regarding the incident last month.
‘Employing veterans is a priority at Macy’s, and we have proudly hired thousands to work within our stores and corporate organization,’ said Betsy Nelson, Macy’s vice president of media.
Discrimination? Reyes took to Facebook to express her frustration and the posting was shared thousands of times – leading to a response from Macy’s:
‘Our commitment to veterans is strong, as we recognize that veterans possess leadership skills that we find are essential in a dynamic department store environment. ‘Ms. Reyes’ application for a position with Macy’s is, in fact, still under consideration as we continue to consider the types of retail jobs that may be available. ‘We are actively looking for an appropriate open position that would be best suited for her skills and experience level, as we do with all prospective employees. ‘As a company that stands for inclusion in the workplace and our stores, we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. ‘We proudly employ thousands of veterans within our organization, as we know that veterans possess leadership skills that are an asset in a dynamic department store environment.

‘As with any prospective employee, we actively looked for appropriate and available positions that would be best suited for Ms. Reyes’ skills and experience level, and, in fact, identified and offered her a job at our store. We were disappointed when she declined.’

Reyes replied to this stating, ‘Correct. A few weeks after the interview and after this story went viral, I did receive an email for a job there. ‘I was very respectful in my response to them. I did not feel comfortable working in a store where a job was offered to me because of the way this has all turned out. ‘I have kept my military bearings throughout this entire situation. Thank you. Spc. Reyes Kayla.’

  1. The Macy’s hiring manager told Kayla Danielle Reyes Abina that since she had been to “war”, she “had a different mindset”, and she didn’t want her on her sales floor. She then told Kayla that she would be probably better suited for an in-store security position. Are these types of statements considered employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Why or why not? Should a hiring manager ever express an opinion such as this during the hiring process? Why or why not? Explain your answer.
  2. According to 38 U.S. Code § 4311 a); “A person who is a member of, applies to be a member of, performs, has performed, applies to perform, or has an obligation to perform service in a uniformed service shall not be denied initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any benefit of employment by an employer on the basis of that membership, application for membership, the performance of service, application for service, or obligation.” In your opinion, with subsequent information, did Macy’s hiring manager break this law? Was this discrimination? Why or why not? Explain your answer.
  3. Define a structured interview and a non-structured interview. Would a structured interview vs. a non-structured interview create a fair and balanced approach in the interview? Explain your answer. Why is it important not to make comments during an interview that might be considered discriminatory in nature?
  4. Was Macy’s apology enough? Why or why not? Explain your answer.
  5. As the Regional VP of Macy’s, you have direct control over the hiring manager. This happened on your watch. There are many questions that you now must ask yourself and be able to justify your response; for instance, Do you, counsel her, or fire her immediately? Do you write her up or retrain or remove her from this position as a hiring manager? Do you give her a new job with less pay at a different location? After carefully considering each of these questions, please give your decision as to what you plan on doing and then justify your decision based on the laws.
  6. In conclusion, create an outline of a training program for future hiring managers that address the legal ramifications of interviews. Your focus for the training needs to be based on the topic of Avoiding Discrimination During the Hiring Process, including interview questions and guidelines. You also need to include in your outline the 38 U.S. Code § 4311 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Outlines will also need to address the issue of lawsuits and protecting the company against discriminatory behaviors. Outlines should be presented as the skeleton for a broader presentation. (USE THE FOLLOWING TEMPLATE AS A GUIDE AND INCLUDE IT, (COPY AND PASTE IT) INTO YOUR CASE STUDY: Outlines.docx Download Outlines.docx) (Further clarification: There is only one submission only, so you’ll need to use the template, create your training outline, then copy and paste it back into your case study.)
    Unemployed female veteran hits out at Macy’s after-sales boss said her ‘mindset’ wasn’t right for a store job because she’d been to war
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2592706/Female-army-veteran-21-hits-Macys-denied-job-mindset-wasnt-right-sales-floor.html (Links to an external site.)
    38 U.S. Code § 4311 – Discrimination against persons who serve in the uniformed services and acts of reprisal prohibited
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/38/4311 (Links to an external site.)
    How to conduct a structured interview
    https://resources.workable.com/tutorial/conduct-structured-interview (Links to an external site.)
    Structured vs Unstructured Interviews: 13 Key Differences
    https://www.formpl.us/blog/structured-unstructured-interview (Links to an external site.)
    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    https://www.eeoc.gov/statutes/title-vii-civil-rights-act-1964 (Links to an external site.)
    Ten ways disciplinary procedures can go wrong for employers, By Katherine Pope (Links to an external site.) on 25 Jan 2016 in Case law (Links to an external site.), Discipline (Links to an external site.), Discipline and grievances (Links to an external site.), Dismissal (Links to an external site.), Unfair dismissal (Links to an external site.)
    https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/ten-ways-disciplinary-procedures-can-go-wrong-employers/ (Links to an external site.)
    Hiring Policy and Procedures, SHRM
    https://shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/tools-and-samples/policies/Pages/cms_001677.aspx (Links to an external site.)
    The Interview Process: Selecting the “Right” Person
    Created by FindLaw’s team (Links to an external site.) of legal writers and editors | Last updated January 19, 2018
    https://www.findlaw.com/smallbusiness/employment-law-and-human-resources/the-interview-process-selecting-the-right-person.html (Links to an external site.)
    How to Ask Legal Interview Questions, Monster

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