Internet Company GoDaddy Passed on ‘Obese Christian’ for Job Application, Faces Legal Allegation

( [email protected] ) Jun 08, 2015 10:54 AM EDT
An attorney representing Arizona resident Keith Connolly claims that Internet giant GoDaddy rejected his job application on the grounds that he was an “obese Christian.” The company denies the allegations.
Courtesy Keith Connolly

An attorney representing Arizona resident Keith Connolly claims that Internet giant GoDaddy rejected his job application on the grounds that he was an "obese Christian." The company denies the allegations.

According to Todd Starnes of Fox News, Connolly had been recruited for a job with GoDaddy, an Internet domain registrar, back in April 2014. Although Connolly indicated that the interview went well, he received an email from the company rejecting his candidacy a month later.

"We have reviewed your qualifications against the job requirements for our Mobile IOS Developer position and decided there is not a strong enough match to move forward at this time," an email from GoDaddy's talent acquisition team read.

However, Connolly claimed that he found the true reason he wasn't hired in an attachment included in the email.

"About Keith, he's great for the job in skills but he looks worse for wear," the attachment supposedly read. "Do we really want an obese Christian? Is that what our new image requires of us?"

Connolly thought the attachment "was very embarrassing."

"They should be hiring people based on their skills, not on where they go on Sunday or how round their waistband is," Connolly said.

GoDaddy spokesman Dan Race told Starnes via email that the allegations were "false" and "without merit."

"GoDaddy intends to vigorously defend itself against these false allegations, including pursuing legal action for fabricating this claim," Race wrote. "We believe the allegations are completely without merit and unequivocally deny them."

However, attorney Casey Yontz, who represents Connolly, asserted to Starnes that the email in question was authentic. He noted that his client wanted an apology.

"This is one of the most egregious emails I've seen in my career," Yontz said. "To think they would have the audacity to think that it's OK to write a thought like that in an email says a lot about what is going on over there."

According to Starnes, Arizona's statute of limitations for discrimination complaint has long passed for Connolly. That's because he waited a year before taking action.

"He was too embarrassed to talk about it," Yontz said.

Yontz indicated to Starnes that GoDaddy's response to the allegations included the possibilities of either getting "hacked" or that "the email was manufactured."

"I doubt someone is going to hack GoDaddy and target Keith knowing he's a Christian and fat," Yontz said. "And it's absurd to think this would be manufactured."

Starnes asked Connolly on how GoDaddy could have figured him out as a Christian.

"I didn't mention my faith at all while I was interviewing," Connolly said. "I didn't have a 'Jesus Saves' shirt or giant cross. It was just a standard interview."

Connolly indicated to Starnes that he was more shocked by the insult surrounding his weight as opposed to his Christian faith. However, he thought that the tech industry in general had "anti-religion and especially anti-Christian atmosphere."

"There's an idea that the hip, modern technologists have to be atheists," Connolly said.

Yontz, who is also a Christian, expressed his frustration to Starnes.

"It feels like there is this battle that Christianity is facing right now," Yontz said. "t feels like we're on the ropes, and seeing this email confirms that - the fact that it was written so freely. This type of discrimination - it's becoming the norm."

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