Macy’s feels heat for treatment of young Afghanistan War vet during employment interview

Spc. Reyes Kayla
Photo credit: www.facebook.com

An Afghanistan war veteran said she was turned down for a retail job because of her service abroad.

Army Specialist and National Guard reserve Kayla Reyes, 21, said she was interviewing for a sales position at a California Macy’s store when the manager expressed concern about her year-long deployment in Afghanistan, according to TheBlaze.

Reyes said the interviewer told her “you wouldn’t really know how to approach people” because she’d “been over there” in the Middle East war zone.

“Once a customer’s in your face, you wouldn’t know how to do it,” the manager said, according to Reyes. “You wouldn’t know how to react.”

Reyes said her retail sales experience at Target was discounted, and the interviewer told her she “wouldn’t be able to do good here,” suggesting a position in “loss prevention” would be more appropriate.

“It’s just frustrating,” Reyes told TheBlaze. “Here I am at 21, having served overseas, and I can’t get a job at Macy’s. It’s crazy.”

Without addressing the interviewer’s behavior, Macy’s released a statement earlier this month, saying:

“Employing veterans is a priority at Macy’s, and we have proudly hired thousands to work within our stores and corporate organization. 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.”

After the incident went viral on social media, Reyes said Macy’s called to offer her a position but didn’t apologize for the interviewer’s comments. Reyes said she has since found employment elsewhere.

Macy’s confirmed on its Facebook page that it did reach out to Reyes with a job offer.

“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,” Macy’s said on Facebook. “We were disappointed when she declined.”

Reyes replied directly to the post, saying in the comment section:

“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.”

Watch the report from local CBS affiliate 47 Eyewitness News, then check out “ ‘Lunch lady said I can’t pray,’ 5-year-old tells her parents.”

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