Dubai: An events company in the UAE has denied posting discriminatory comments against Filipino job applicants.
Show Buzz Events Management clarified that it doesn’t condone acts that tend to alienate candidates on the basis of their passport, religion or gender.
“The original post for makeup artists was posted on our page and then stolen by [the career site which] started posting racist comments,” the company said on its Facebook page.
“Show Buzz Events doesn’t support racism and is open to all nationalities. We are here to give talented people a chance, be it of any race, age, caste, age.”
Some UAE expatriates have lashed out at a career listings site for allegedly banning Filipinos from applying for a job.
The social media outrage started after an Omani national alerted fellow netizens that she had just been banned from a Facebook page for tagging a Filipino friend on an online advertisement looking for a makeup artist in the UAE.
Miha Hillal, who works as an events manager in Dubai, recently came across an ad announcing that a company is holding a competition to search for the “best makeup artist” who will then have the opportunity to work for an “upcoming series and TV shows” in the UAE.
Excited about the ad, Hillal decided to tag the post to one of her friends who happens to be from the Philippines. About five minutes later, she received a message from the site, telling her that she’s just been blocked.
“The job is not for Filipinos and they [are] not welcome on this page. You are banned for tagging a Filipino. You cannot view this page again,” the message sent to Hillal reads.
Contacted by Gulf News, Hillal said she found the hiring agency rather offensive and racist towards Filipinos in general.
“This agency went out of their way to send me a private message stating that I am never allowed to post anything on their page about any individual from the Philippines and that I was banned and blocked from viewing future jobs simply because I referred someone who happens to be from the Philippines,” Hillal told Gulf News.
The Facebook ad and message in question, as shared by Miha Hillal.
“I understand there are a lot of agencies that need a specific nationality, particularly if they are looking for a specific language requirement. However, this was an artistic competition and many agencies would usually ignore a nationality if they weren’t looking for one,” Hillal said.
Other Facebook users who learned about Hillal’s experience joined in the tirade against racial discrimination in hiring applicants.
“I found what happened [to be] very unethical,” Zainab Aziz, a friend of Hillal who later posted an angry comment on the hiring agency's page, told Gulf News. The Pakistani national said the career site later changed its name.
Gulf News tried to contact on Sunday morning the administrator of the listings site, which specialises in vacancies in the events, hospitality and film industry, but did not get a response. The Facebook page was later taken down.
“The post does not specify nationality. I would have tagged my dear friend Grace who is Filipino. I do not see what difference anyone’s nationality, sex, religion, ethnicity has to do with them being competent to perform any job,” said another Facebook user.
According to the UAE’s anti-discrimination law, it is illegal to discriminate against individuals or groups on the basis of race, ethnic origin, caste or religion.
Lawyer Barney Almazar, director of Gulf Law, said that actions that may be found discriminatory may result in an imprisonment of up to five years and/ or a fine of between Dh500,000 and Dh1 million.
"Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 Against Discrimination and Hatred specifically prohibits all forms of discrimination on the basis of religion, belief, sect, faith, creed, race, colour or ethnic origin," said Almazar.
He said the law encompasses not only discrimination in the workplace or recruitment of staff, as it is broad enough to cover discriminatory conduct regardless of how it is expressed, whether in written form, verbal or artistic expression.
“Without a doubt, the law clearly sends the message of tolerance and acceptance, irrespective of a person’s religion, belief, sect, faith, creed, race, colour or ethnic group,” said Almazar.
“For the Filipinos and the expat community in general, this development is very much welcomed as it bolster a multicultural environment where individuals from different walks of life and background can live and work together.”