HR to Vietnamese job applicant, ‘If you no speak English, I will send you home’

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Filed under: WTH HR

I don’t have a SHRM-CP or a SHRM-SCP. Heck, I don’t have any HR certifications whatsoever. All I have is my Juris Doctorate

***Googles “Juris Doctorate”***

Yes, that’s what I have. And I specialize in employment law to boot. At least that’s what it says in my email signature.

So, even though I don’t have one of your fancy HR certifications, I feel like I know a thing or two about hiring best practices. Except, then I read this ABC News story from Meghan Keneally, the one entitled “HR employee fired for appearing to mock applicant’s English.” And I shook my damn head.

Here’s more from the story:

Emily Huynh’s father, Minh Huynh, is a Vietnamese immigrant who is still working on his English, so she reads over her father’s emails at the end of the day to help him understand words that tripped him up, she told ABC News.

Emily Huynh, an 18-year-old high school senior, spotted a particularly jarring email earlier this week, in which an HR employee for a delivery service seemed to insult her father’s language skills in an email.

She then shared a screenshot of the email response, sparking a firestorm on Twitter.

Her father had inquired about a job at Dash Delivery LLC in their hometown of Seattle, and according to the screengrab that Emily Huynh later posted, an HR employee responded inappropriately.

“Let me tell you now, if you no speak English, I will send you home,” the employee appeared to write, underlining “if you no speak English.”

So, Ms. Huynh tweeted a screenshot of the email from HR. And then her tweet was retweeted.

23,000 times. (Twitter users “liked” it another 49,000 times).

To its credit, Ms. Keneally reports that the employer responded immediately with an apology, which Ms. Huynh also tweeted. The company also fired the HR representative. And, for it’s worth, the former HR representative later apologized to the Huynhs too.

Ms. Huynh also tweeted that her father does not intend to pursue a lawsuit against the company, which is fortunate for the company because I have it on competent authority that the “E” in e-mail stands for “Exhibit.” As in, Exhibit A.

So, maybe take this opportunity to remind your folks not to express their xenophobia in email, text, IM, slack, or any electronic form at all.

It tends to become quite embarrassing and expensive. And I get some good blogging fodder.

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