Local News

Jul 30, 2014 3:59 PM by Sara Donchey

Vet Who Guarded Afghan Prison Denied Security Guard Job for Being a Woman

CORPUS CHRISTI - It's been four years since Navy veteran AnnMarie Phillips was deployed to Afghanistan, but it feels like just yesterday.

Phillips worked as a guard at the prison in Bagram, and the people she kept watch over were not your average prisoners.

"(They were) the bad kind," Phillips. "Terrorists. We guarded a lot of really bad guys."

Now that she's back home with her husband and their young children and back in school, she's looking for work.

So she logged on to Craigslist, where she found a job posting to be a security guard at a retail store.

"I applied for it," Phillips said. "And Saturday I received the email (back from them)...the email said the position is for a man only."

Phillips was irate.

"I was pretty angry because I know that I'm more than qualified--I'm beyond qualified--for that kind of position. And for somebody to shoot me down because of my gender...it's disgusting."

After a quick check on Craigslist, we found a post for what seemed to be the same position in the Rio Grande Valley.

The post appeared to be just like the one Phillips said she applied for last week.

Among the qualifications listed in the posting was the following line: "Needs to be male 21 years old or over due to being a security department job."

Sylvia Wilson, the Human Relations Director for the City of Corpus Christi said that sort of language is a red flag, and upon review, could constitute as discrimination.

"A person should not state specifically what gender is to be utilized unless there is a specific business purpose for reflecting that," Wilson said.

Phillips is still unemployed--at least for now--and is still very angry.

"I don't think that it's right for them to discriminate by gender, regardless of my military past. He didn't even give me a chance to interview for the position. How does he know i'm not qualified?"

We reached out to the man that responded to Phillips email but calls to him or his company, Los Angeles-based National Stores Inc., were not returned.

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