Did Macy’s Discriminate Against This Female Army Veteran?
Army Specialist Kayla Reyes spent a year deployed in Afghanistan — but now that she’s safely back home, the female veteran says she has been treated unfairly by one of the largest retail businesses in the U.S.
Kayla recently attended a job interview for a customer service position with Macy’s in Fresno, California. Instead of seeing her Army experience as an advantage, however, the retailer is alleged to have had harsh words about Reyes’s military service. According to Specialist Reyes, a Macy’s representative told her that her time in Afghanistan made it impossible to provide customer service.
In an online message, Specialist Reyes noted: “After the hiring manager learned that I had been overseas, the way she looked at me was entirely different. She told me, because I had been to war, my mindset was different… and she couldn’t see me on her sales floor.”
In a fairly generic response, a Macy’s media representative released a statement, saying in part: “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.”
However, the young veteran indicated that the actions of the Macy’s personnel did not match those words. Reyes was clearly disappointed and frustrated by the way she felt treated. “[Macy's] told me, I don’t really know how to keep my composure when there is someone in my face, mad,” wrote Reyes.
“That is discrimination to the fullest. I didn’t join at 17 and deploy at 19 to Afghanistan to come home and not have equal opportunities because of the places I have been.”
Social media sites quickly spread word of Kayla’s experience, with many people agreeing with her frustration about anti-military bias, and prompting her to discuss the topic with users on Twitter. Many people asked Macy’s to address the concerns more fully, but the retailer did not respond beyond its previously-issued short statement.