In a Reddit post titled, “A guy I rejected 5 or so years ago just cost me a job, do I have any [legal] recourse?” a woman from New York, US, recounts how a spurned lover from her past deliberately sabotaged her career hopes.
Although she doesn’t identify herself or the man in question, she claims he is a senior staffer at an unnamed high-profile Fortune 500 company, meaning it’s one of today’s largest and most wealthy US corporations.
While the woman says she’s since given up on getting the role she’s now looking at her legal options.
Job hopeful’s shock rejection
“So today I interviewed for a position at a publicly-traded company and saw a guy I knew in college there,” the woman wrote in the post on Saturday.
She went on to explain that years earlier she and the man went to university together during which time she rebuffed his romantic advances.
“We had some history, in college he was a friend of mine but he wanted to be more than that and I just didn't see him that way,” she said.
She added that the two “eventually lost touch” and when their paths crossed on the day of her interview, the man “seemed not to notice” her so she didn’t approach him.
What happened next left the woman gobsmacked and contemplating legal action.
“The interview went well and I was fairly certain I was going to get the job. Later I get a text from him informing me that I wasn't getting the job because the company was ‘not ready to settle’ and that I was not ‘their type’. These are the exact words I used when I turned him down,” she wrote.
“I can't believe an executive at a F500 [Fortune 500] company is behaving in this manner. I've cut my losses with the job but I am just wondering where I can go from here,” she concluded.
Man’s ‘petty’ behaviour
The woman included a screenshot of the text messages between herself and the man, who claims to be the company’s director of operations and finance.
In the messages, the man claims full responsibility for rejecting her job application.
“I wanted you to hear it from me - you will NOT be hired for our business analyst position and it was 100% my decision,” he wrote.
“Do you realise how petty this is? Not to mention unprofessional?” the woman responded.
“Not sure what you’re talking about. Good luck with your job search,” he replied curtly.
Redditors weigh in
The woman’s fellow Reddit users took to the comments section to offer their advice with many saying that she doesn’t have much of a case against the man.
“Nothing illegal about it. Though you could certainly send the screenshot to HR. It won't get you the job but it might get him reprimanded,” one wrote.
“Yes, or send it to his boss at work,” another added.
“Unprofessional but not illegal,” confirmed one.
“No recourse. The decision wasn't based on discrimination against a protected class, so this isn't illegal,” said another.
Others, however, seemed to think she might have a chance.
“While I agree in this situation [the woman] doesn't have much of a case, I do think you are looking at the wrong actor. While [the woman] has no recourse against the company, [the woman] could have a case against the guy for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, which is a valid cause of action in [New York],” advised one.
“You might be able to sue him, talk to a lawyer. You should make his employer aware that one of their employees is blocking good hires and wasting recruitment effort and money/labour over petty grudges. If I was his boss I'd fire him for that,” another wrote.
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