Career after blacklist
By NiedriaKenny on August 20, 2014
I read an article titled, “Why blacklists are important” and all I could think was, aren’t blacklists illegal? My understanding was never that it could be used for the actual protection of an organization. I always thought blacklist were illegal in every form. The truth is, they are not. After seeing the title to this article, I wanted to understand exactly what Blacklists were and why someone would feel that the lists are important. Many types of blacklists are legal. For example, a store may maintain a list of individuals who have not paid their bills and deny them credit privileges. Similarly, credit reports can effectively function as blacklists by identifying individuals who are poor credit risks. (Wikipedia)
As I continued to read the article and cross-reference its contents to what blacklists should represent, my research brought me closer and closer back to my original understanding. The article never referenced using the blacklist in a good way, although it gave the impression that the intentions were good. The article spoke to employers about utilizing a blacklist so that they can identify with the resumes from prospective applicants that may cross their desk. Upon receipt of a resume from a certain person, identifiable by name on the blacklist, they were to immediately discard the resume.
Historically, the blacklist was a list of names of people who were previously employed by the person/company/organization who placed the names on the list. The intent was simply not to hire. However, there was no reason given, simply because there was no valid reason. The not to hire suggestions were motivated by idle talk. It never mentioned those previous employees being a threat to the organization, nor someone who may not be a good fit due to their lack of skill, work ethic or performance. It specifically targeted individuals who were subject to the opinion of their last employer for many indifferences such as jealousy, envy and hatred.
Because the purpose of blacklistsare to exclude and discriminate, they can also result in unfair and illegal discrimination. In some cases, blacklists have done great damage to people's lives, locking them out of employment in their chosen careers or denying them access to influential organizations. For example, if a labor union makes a blacklist of workers who refuse to become members or conform to its rules, it has committed an Unfair Labor Practice in violation of federal laws. Blacklists may also necessitate disclosure laws. State and federal fair credit reporting acts, for example, require that access to information in a credit report must be given, upon request, to the person to whom the information applies.
Blacklists, in my experience, have been used with malicious intent instead of genuine concern for the next organization. As a victim of the blacklist, my personal experience proved that the purpose was simply to keep me out of the market that I was thriving in. While I was bringing the company I worked for lots of money, I was still working in a small office where the competition was intense and the alliance among managers was too much for me to contend. The company alleged I was the highest paid hourly employee, and to add to that, I was leading sales. This was making the managers and other agents look really bad. This is also an example of where the jealousness begins to fester. Managers began to insist that I break rules for certain customers and deal in unlawful practices. As a result, when I refused, I was alienated and subjected to unreasonable requirements which ultimately led to being harassed with several back to back write ups which had no merit and denied earned commissions. The company broke rules and violated their own procedures to retain my commissions. Ultimately, I was forced to walk away from several thousands of dollars in unpaid commission from a large property management company. When I pursued a lawsuit for the money, I was placed on a blacklist.
My own in-depth research is my documentation. This, and the fact that several acquaintances who remained with the company and in the industry were able to obtain concrete evidence that I was indeed on a blacklist. Prior to leaving the company, I even stumbled upon an email that was written to a manager from a regional manager that ignited it.
I don’t know what the status is currently, as some staff have changed in certain offices. With change, new staff and or management, sometimes come the ability to recognize talent. The new staff, management and ownership are sometimes able to see through the smoke of a blacklist. They are able to determine when someone has been placed on it due to malice, jealousy, or indifference of previous employers. Some actually take the time to schedule and conduct a professional interview with the talent and determine on their own if they will be an asset or a good fit to the company, minus the biased opinion that was generated, resulting in the blacklist placement.
If my initial concept of blacklists stand—they are merely undercover methods of discrimination by vindictive employers—they should be banned and users penalized. However, if used in a good manner, my suggestion to anyone who uses one would be to make sure it was generated out of a genuine concern for the best interest of the next company, or organization that is considering to hire the person on it. In my example given, some may feel it was a good reason to place a person on it. In which case, I guess some companies may feel the need to warn the next company that they may be hiring a person with standards.
Niedria D. Kenny
The D, is for Deon - same name as my son. The only child AKA Prince Cornelius; he's the Prince in "Prince Cornelius and his Magical Friends" a book dedicated to the life and growth of my child.