General Question

Carly's avatar

Could I potentially be on an employment blacklist?

Asked by Carly (4555points) December 13th, 2010

When I was a teenager I worked 3 retail jobs and quit without giving a full 2 week notice. This was mainly because I freaked out from too much stress when my job got rough and the only thing I thought I could do was “run away” from the problem.

Anyway, that was over 4–6 years ago. I’ve worked other jobs, mainly school jobs that didn’t require a resume or even a real application, but now that I’m trying to get a job off campus I’m noticing some odd things.

For example: I applied for a basic cashiering job at Toys R Us last year, and I never got a call back. Then my younger sister and one of her friends applied 2 weeks later and they both got jobs there instantly. (Also, I had cashiering experience, and they didn’t)

Could I be on a blacklist, or is there something else that could have caused this?

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19 Answers

tedd's avatar

No. Or at least I HIGHLY doubt it. There is no “list” that all employers go to to see if you performed badly for past employers. Staffing agencies do have black lists, but if you go through a different agency, or pass them up all together, you will avoid being black listed.

Now if you’re using your past employers on your resume/application, they could very well be giving you a bad reference. But Toys R Us lacks the ability to check your entire work history, they can only see what you give them. (employment history doesn’t even show up on back ground checks).

Summum's avatar

There is something you can do to find out if the old work place is giving you a bad reference. I had a friend call as if they were a company checking references and got a reference from a company I thought was giving me a bad reference. We found out they were not giving a bad one.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

For a cashier position there won’t be a very extensive background check, if any.

But if you listed your previous employers, then it is possible (though unlikely) that a routine check with them for ‘employment history’ (which by law should only be verification of dates of employment and not ‘reasons for termination’ or ‘feeling about this employee’) could have turned up the information that you didn’t want them to find out. Most employers know that they should not ‘embellish’ this information, but it still happens.

I don’t recommend a lawsuit, because you can’t afford it and because it’s unlikely to be successful and because even if you ‘win’ that would put you on a black list – employers are very sensitive to lawsuits of all kinds, and if you get a reputation for suing potential employers that word will get out.

I think that if I were you I would ignore the earlier employers and leave them off the resume. Don’t even have those on the radar screens of prospective employers. List your recent – successful – employment while you were a student.

And never, ever ‘run away’ from a job again.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

You didn’t give them access to any of those c-a—razy facebook pictures now did you?

coffeenut's avatar

Could be they just lost your application…. as far as I know there is’t a community Blacklist…but you can be Blacklisted by a certain company…
Lol, I’ve been “Blacklisted” by one company…I can never work there again…lol

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think so. Have someone check your references.

MissAnthrope's avatar

They may have called your previous jobs.. they may not have been hiring at the moment.. they may have misplaced your application… but no employment blacklist, so don’t worry! If there were, we’d all be in trouble.

Anyway, you don’t want to work for them. They were my first long-term job. They treat their employees like potential thieves, management was very full of themselves, like they were working at Bloomingdales or something, and when the relationship soured, they started setting me up with a paper trail of mysteriously missing credit card slips in order to fire me.

gambitking's avatar

I think this question has been relatively well handled by those above me, but I wanted to throw in some things to think about in addition

Firstly, I disagree that Toys R Us “lacks the ability” to discover previous histories. And I mean background and employment checks. Anyone with a laptop and a credit card can dig deeper than you realize into your past, and that certainly holds true for ToysRus. The question is : Do they care enough? Honestly, probably not.

It’s also true that employers love going to your Facebook account, and usually they only need your name and zip code. If it’s unsavory, they’ll just toss your app.

As for the existence of employee blacklists, they do exist and they are used heavily. Landing on one of those lists should be avoided at all costs, and I’m not talking about a single list one company – I’m talking about a shared regional list that is just as easily referenced and dispersed as anything you could share on LinkedIn.

This is a serious matter, especially as jobless rates climb and finding a job is so hard. Employers know they can pay less for better quality, and they tap every resource to do so.

You can’t sue an employer for refusing to hire you unless you have pretty solid proof that they violated the law (not to mention you’re paying for the representation).

So all that being said, the best solution, as said a couple times here so far, is to get someone else to find out what your previous employers are saying about you. This won’t really tell you if you’re on a blacklist or not, but there’s other ways you can find that out.

All things considered, based on your description, you’re probably not a blacklist. Retail jobs are revolving doors, everyone knows that. But it doesn’t mean you should ignore the fact that blacklists do exist

Taciturnu's avatar

It’s a tough employment situation out there, and there are a couple things you can do to keep yourself in the running.

Write a resume, even if your application does not require one. Be a little flashy, without lying. Think of everything you would want in an employee if you were hiring- trustworthy, dependable, happy demeanor, experienced, drug free, etc. Put down every single one that you are. Attach your resume to every application.

Be proactive. Call back 3–5 days after applying, and speak directly with the hiring manager. (It helps to get his/her name when you drop your resume and application.) Be pleasant on the phone and ask if they had a chance to review your resume. Tell them you’re very excited about the possibility of working there, and tell them why. (ToysRus- “I love children and have always felt like a kid at heart. I think it could be a great opportunity for me, and I’d feel right at home.” ... Or whatever reason you sincerely mean.)

@gambitking is exactly right in RE: to Facebook. Keep everything entirely private, or keep it entirely clean. Google yourself and see what else comes up.

Lots of good advice on here. Good luck with your next one! :)

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@gambitking What you can find out privately with a credit card is totally different than what an HR department can find out legally. It’s a whole PI vs cops thing.
I seriously doubt that for a retail job, they did a whole lot of checking. Facebook takes time – it doesn’t take zip codes, so you have to know what city they listed as living in (did they put the name of the Metro city they live in, or the actual suburb they live in? Have they moved recently?) All the checking costs time and money, so the likelyhood they put tons of resources into a minimum-wage job is usually low.
Where are these blacklists? If they’re used so much, how would I go about finding out if a pospective employee is on them?

It’s entirely possible that you didn’t get the job because someone lost the job, or you applied right when they didn’t need any help, and by the time your sister applied, your application wasn’t high enough on the pile for them to look at it. Or several other totally reasonable things.

BarnacleBill's avatar

At one point, Toys R Us used a screening company called Accufacts. If other companies used the same screening company, then it’s possible that your employment history is in their system. If that’s the case, there’s generally a point when things should be purged. Especially since these were jobs you had as a minor.

Are you putting those jobs on your application? Are you filling out your application completely? What time of day are you putting applications in? (Some places don’t hire people who put in applications at night or late in the day.) Are you calling to follow up on your application status within a day or two?

Paradox's avatar

I would doubt it for a cashier type job but I suppose that’s even possible considering this is definitely an employers market these days (even lower paying positions can be picky).

Some employers do have a reputation for giving almost anybody who left them a bad reference. I knew of two places that did this. Fortunately most employers only check past employers for verification purposes. It all depends on the employer however as well, some employers have their own policies that prevent them from giving out any more information then just to verify you’ve worked there but others will give out more information.

gambitking's avatar

@papayalily – what you say is true, in fact I agree, hence my “grain of salt” tone,<<i.e.: “The question is : Do they care enough? Honestly, probably not.”> as I surmise retail jobs like this wouldn’t invest such resources , nor even reference blacklists whilst filling seasonal or entry level positions in similar fashion to picking team members on a kickball court at recess (sorry billy, everyone knows you can’t hit the ball, you’re last again).

But I wanted to ensure the OP knows we’re not belittling the job itself or what it takes to land the spot… every paying job in America is important. But yeah, granted it’s probably under the radar for such intensive selection procedures.

Carly's avatar

To anyone who asked about what I put on my job application.. I only put down the past 3 jobs I’ve had (in the past 4 years). These were either part-time jobs or internships I excelled at, so im not really worried about bad references from those.

thanks for all your feedback guys!

john65pennington's avatar

My daughter did the same thing, after graduating high school. She worked for three different auto parts stores, within a one year time. She quit the jobs because of sexual harrassment. This did not interfere with her future employments. She finally graduated with a Nursing Degree and has a great job.

No, I do not believe a blacklist exists.

sshamoo's avatar

One thing I have learned about retail employers is that sometimes they prefer someone with less work history because it means less “bad habits” already picked up at other jobs. Your little sister and her friends could be much more impressionable with less jobs on their application.

Gabby101's avatar

No, nothing goes on your permanent record ;)

AshlynM's avatar

It could be your qualifications or other information put on your application to cause the rejection.

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