LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A woman seeking a job with a Los Angeles-area firm says she was shocked to be racially profiled in the rejection note she received from the company’s CEO.
After Tiffany Trieu graduated from UC Davis in June, she followed most job search recommendations to the letter – set up a LinkedIn profile and subscribed to the site’s paid premium features, went to conferences for networking opportunities, and sent out applications with follow-up emails through the social networking site.
Trieu said she wasn’t really expecting a response from the president of a company that makes water features, but heard from him a few weeks later.
“Thank you very much for writing,” the note to Trieu started. “Your persistence is respected, as is your obvious poetic sympathies for water.
“We have two hurdles to leap before we could engage you. The first is that we would need to maintain a higher flow of work, which could happen, but then the second is that we’ve hired so many foreign nationals that it seems time for us to hire an American, or be unfair,” the email said in part.
Trieu was stunned.
“I was just in shock because this never happened to me before,” she said.
She said she waited to allow herself a cooling-down period before responding.
“I would like to clarify I am an American and unsure of how you came to the conclusion I am not American-born. It is more important to note that America is made up of nothing but ‘foreign nationals’ from one generation or another,” Trieu wrote back. “As a country which prides itself for diversity and equality since it was established, I would hope its citizens uphold that belief as well.”
Trieu declined his invitation to visit the company’s studio the next time she is in the area. She declined to identify the company or the president.
“Though you extend your invitation, I honestly do not feel accepted and welcome,” she wrote.
He responded with a very short note the next day.
“You got the wrong guy. I’m sorry, of course if I offended you. I’m not bad,” he wrote.
“His response was really curt and I felt it was really disrespectful,” Trieu said, adding that she didn’t reply back to his apology. “When I responded, I wasn’t trying to imply he was a bad person.”
Trieu said she wanted to share the experience on Facebook so that other job seekers know they are not alone if they experience discrimination for whatever reason.
“I thought it was wrong he assume things about me. I’m sure the only thing he knew about me was from my LinkedIn profile,” she said.”