Subway manager fired after accusation she denied black teen job due to race

HOUSTON (KTRK/CNN) - A Houston-area Subway manager, whose text messages revealed she may have turned down a teenage job applicant because of the color of her skin, is out of a job.

A friend employed at the Subway store sent Katelyn Simmons a screenshot of the text message conversation he had with his boss about her job application. (Source: KTRK/Timika Simmons/CNN)

Katelyn Simmons intended to spend her summer vacation by working and earning money before senior year, but when she applied to work at a Subway restaurant, she was denied the job.

A friend employed at the store sent Katelyn Simmons a screenshot of the text message conversation he had with his boss about her application.

In it, the manager asks how the applicant looks, and the employee replies, “Black girl long dark hair. Shortish.”

“Oh no thanks,” the manager said. “I don’t want those people in our store lol.”

Katelyn Simmons says she was deeply hurt by the conversation. She showed her mother, Timika Simmons, who contacted Subway.

Subway says the manager has since been fired.

“The former manager's actions do not reflect the openness and values shown by Subway franchise owners and their staff. The Subway brand and its independent franchise owner are inclusive and welcome all individuals to be part of the Subway restaurant teams,” said the company in a statement.

Katelyn Simmons shared the experience in a post to social media and received several job offers, including one from Esele McNeal, the owner of a hydration clinic called Quench IV Studio.

The teenager is expected to start working at the clinic in the coming days.

“Not every no means a permanent no. Continue to keep pushing. Just be focused on that next yes that will come to you eventually,” McNeal said.

Timika Simmons says despite the positive ending to the story, she and her daughter may take legal action.

"I don’t want this in the back of her head, and I don’t know what you can do to reverse that because I believe there may be some hesitation when she goes for certain jobs or she does not get a job,” Timika Simmons said.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says it takes these types of accusations seriously and encourages victims to report any such incident.

Copyright 2019 KTRK, Timika Simmons via CNN. All rights reserved.

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