A California military veteran says that Macy's discriminated against her when she was turned down for a sales position because she served in Afghanistan.
21-year-old Kayla Reyes claims that after returning home from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan, she started searching for jobs. Reyes went to a local Macy’s in Fresno, Calif., to apply for a position, but during her interview, she was told that she wouldn’t be a good fit because of her military experience.
“Being that you've been over there, you wouldn't really know how to approach people,” the hiring manager allegedly said to Reyes. “Once a customer's in your face, you wouldn't know how to do it. You wouldn't know how to react.”
“She's like, 'Well I've been here 15 years, I know you wouldn't be able to do good here,’” said Reyes to a local CBS affiliate. "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.'"
After the interview, Reyes took to Facebook to vent her frustrations, and soon after, her status update was shared thousands of times.
Macy’s eventually caught wind of the story and released a statement.
“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, in the statement. “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.”
Reyes claims that soon after the company released its statement, she wound up being offered a position at her local Macy’s. She declined the job, however, and took a job with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
“A few weeks after the interview and after this story went viral, I did receive an email for a job there,” said Reyes. “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.”