The Huynh family celebrate Emily Huynh’s 18th birthday. Pictured are Cindy Chen (left), Emily Huynh, Minh Huynh and Brandon Huynh. (Courtesy of the Huynhs)

The Huynh family celebrate Emily Huynh’s 18th birthday. Pictured are Cindy Chen (left), Emily Huynh, Minh Huynh and Brandon Huynh. (Courtesy of the Huynhs)

Hiring manager to job candidate: ‘If you no speak English …’

“… I will send you home.” He was fired by an Everett company for emailing that to a Vietnamese immigrant.

EVERETT — A hiring manager at an Everett delivery business has been fired after he responded to a job candidate who is a Vietnamese immigrant by writing, “If you no speak English, I will send you home.”

Bruce Peterson sent the email a week ago to Minh Huynh, of Seattle, who was applying for a job with Delivery Dash in downtown Everett. Huynh’s daughter Emily, 18, saw the email and was outraged.

“At first, I was really confused,” Emily Huynh said. “I thought, ‘Is his grammar really off?’ And then I quickly realized he was just trying to mock my dad.”

She posted a picture of the email on Twitter, where it quickly went viral. The post had been retweeted 23,000 times and favorited 49,000 times by Thursday evening.

Emily Huynh, who is a senior at a Seattle high school, thought Peterson’s interactions with her father were unprofessional. She described how hard it is for people like her father to find jobs if English is not their first language.

Delivery Dash owner Kevin Bus said it was flat-out wrong for his hiring manager to send the email. He also called it sickening. That’s why he said he quickly fired Peterson.

“The tone and nature of the email to Mr. Huynh was disrespectful, to say the least,” Bus said in an email. “It doesn’t reflect, in any way, what we stand for at Dash Delivery. Our company values diversity.”

Bus sent an apology email to both Minh Huynh and his daughter Wednesday and told them Peterson was let go. Emily, who is part of her school’s student government, was supporting her school’s basketball team the night when she received the email.

She described the events for her father, who understands English, but was reluctant to be interviewed. He immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam in 1994.

Emily Huynh said she personally was hurt by Peterson’s email to her father. The family doesn’t want to do anything more than publicize what happened. Since the tweet went viral, the Huynhs have received hundreds of messages.

“We’ve had an outpouring of support from people around the world,” Emily Huynh said. “We really appreciate everybody’s concerns. It’s amazing to see how many immigrants have experienced things like this. It’s surprising this is happening in 2018.”

Many of the messages the Huynhs have received have included job offers or suggestions of places to apply for work. Minh Huynh was a longtime truck driver before he was laid off a couple of years ago. He took some time off and started looking for work again a couple of months ago.

Minh Huynh never was offered an interview at Delivery Dash and wouldn’t feel comfortable taking a job there after this, his daughter said.

Delivery Dash’s owner said 30 percent of his company’s drivers are Asian. This incident has been a learning experience.

“We’re a small business, so something like this is felt by each and every one of us,” Bus said. “This event showed everyone here how words can be cruel and harmful and that we won’t tolerate them here. I’m confident this kind of thing won’t happen again to us.”

Jim Davis: 425-339-3097; jdavis@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @HBJnews.

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