A Black woman in North Carolina said Target rejected her job application up until she applied under a different race and less ethnic name.
Naturi Greene told The Insider that she had received several rejection letters over the years from Target, but that changed when she applied for a position as a guest advocate as “Tori,” a mixed-race woman. Greene filled out the form for the same position she applied for weeks prior. This time, her application was accepted.
“I’m not sure how it can be proved to be discrimination,” Greene told Insider. “But as a person of color in America, I can’t help but to think that is the reason.”
Greene said she joked with her boyfriend about applying for the job as another race after her May 18 application under Naturi was denied. Then, she applied as Tori on July 3.
Target spokesperson Brian Harper-Tibaldo told Insider that the store in Charlotte where Green sought a job was not hiring when she applied in May, and the position opened weeks later. However, Greene’s rejection letter did not mention that the store was not hiring, and the position had populated when the woman searched for open jobs.
“It’s hard to believe the store was not hiring at the time if the position was still available to apply for on the website,” Green said.
Greene’s job hunting experience with Target is not unique, reports show. The major retailer was ordered to pay $2.8 million in 2015 after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found three employment assessments screened out applicants based on race and sex. In 2007, Target agreed to a $510,000 settlement after Kalisha White submitted an application under Sarah Brucker, while an application under her real name was rejected at a store in Wisconsin. The second application got White an interview even though the Brucker résumé reflected less experience.
Greene posted a video on TikTok sharing her story, which has amassed hundreds of thousands of views. She said other people have reached out to her and shared similar stories of discrimination. Another TikToker, Journee Yawna, said her application for different job was denied in March but accepted when she applied as a Caucasian the next day.
“It’s many jobs that seem to be discriminatory,” Greene said. “People have generally been supportive simply because they have been through the same thing.”
Economists at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago sent more than 83,000 fake applications to 108 of the largest U.S. employers. They found applications with “distinctively” Black names reduce the chance of employer callbacks by 2.1 percentage points compared to “distinctively” white names. The researchers applied to the jobs with pairs of identical resumes but with different names for the study updated in February 2022. Researchers also found that the white-Black callback rate is wider for roles where employees communicate with customers in person.
Greene said she no longer wants to work at Target after the revelation.
“I don’t want to work anywhere where I couldn’t get hired for the person I am,” she said. “I would just like to see people of all races treated equally and have access to the same opportunities.”