Remember the manager who wanted to assign employees’ hotel rooms by race? Of course you do. Here’s the update:
Sadly, unlike so many other follow-ups, I can’t really say that things have changed at all. As many commenters pointed out, beyond race-based decision-making, some of the other factors brought up (intimidating employees, skimping on budgets, micro-management, bad performance review procedures) signaled that even if this was not a racially-motivated decision, it was a superlative example of bad management.
My former coworker is still at the current place of employment, waiting for her visa renewal process to go through. She (and most other workers there!) don’t let a day go by without applying for a job. Despite the overwhelming response from you, your guest, and most commentators that “Yes, this is illegal,” she decided not to pursue any case, mainly due to concerns that the CEO would cancel her visa renewal or try to muck up her immigration situation. For context, she often calls new employers and tells them that hiring her employees is violating her non-compete agreement — even when people move into totally different fields! She has also threatened to sue two former employees for slander and damages for things they have posted on their Twitter months after they left the company. In short, my friend decided it’s a situation that might be better to just get out of rather than fight.
If there’s any solace in this horrible situation, it is that the business continues to struggle as other companies compete for the previously unoccupied market space. I wouldn’t be surprised if these companies’ competitive edge has something to do with employee retention and better management, both from an entrepreneurial and HR angle. I also recently just found out how awful this CEO’s reputation is within the broader field of publishing — it is true that your reputation follows you and people in your field talk!
I’m so sorry that this didn’t really end better – just keep on crossing your fingers for my friend (and all past, present, and future employees in this company!)