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Mattel job listing for remote position says boss can make ‘unplanned visits’

Popular toy company Mattel has sparked backlash after posting a job listing for a remote position, in which it states that potential employees must be prepared for “periodic unplanned visits from a supervisor” during work shifts.

A screenshot of the job posting for Mattel’s American Girl company was shared on Twitter on Wednesday by a woman named Erin M who goes by the username @HarlemCrab. Erin shared the post in response to a tweet from Anne Helen Peterson, who claimed that numerous people have reported similar clauses about unplanned visits in their company work-from-home contracts.

“Several people have told me that their (large) company’s WFH policy includes signing a contract that gives the company the right to inspect their home workspace with 24 hours notice – what is going on here??? Actual question!” Peterson tweeted.

In response, Erin shared a screenshot of an “actual listing from Mattel for a remote position about a month ago,” in which the company notes that, to qualify for the job, employees must have a “closed-door work area with no distractions or background noise (ie pets, children, machinery, music or talking)” and that there may be “periodic unplanned visits from a supervisor during scheduled work shifts”.

The job listing also includes requirements for applicants such as office supplies, “dedicated high-speed internet,” which Mattel notes is an expense “covered by you” and “freedom from other responsibilities”.

According to the screenshot, freedom from other responsibilities means that those who apply for the job “must be focused on work and not responsible for the caretaking of others (children, elderly, pets, etc)”.

While the exact position was not included in the screenshot, a search of Mattel’s current job listings found the same requirements for the open position of a remote home agent located in Wisconsin or Illinois.

The job posting, which states that the company is looking for “friendly, dynamic individuals to join our team as Seasonal Customer Service Home Agents” who will be part of the American Girl contact team centre includes the claim that “it’s important to note that telecommuting is not necessarily for everyone” as it “requires a certain discipline and work ethic to succeed”.

On Twitter, the screenshot of the job posting has prompted a range of horrified responses, with many pointing out the unrealistic nature of the company’s demands.

“My actual work office would not fit these requirements, due to…other people working there and the sounds of working in a city which often infiltrate my office,” one person tweeted.

Another asked: “Where am I supposed to put my pet in my one-bedroom apartment.”

“Visits from the boss… at my house? Um, no,” someone else wrote.

Others were dismayed by the company’s stance on internet accessibility, as one person noted that they have “never worked for a company that didn’t offer some kind of cell phone or internet reimbursement”.

“So they want someone to work from home but won’t reimburse them for the cost of their internet service? Nice,” another person tweeted.

On Mattel’s website, the company, which also owns popular brands such as Barbie and Hot Wheels, states that it is dedicated to helping employees achieve “work/life flexibility” through a number of resources, including access to fitness centers and programs to “support families”.

Under the “working parents” portion of the website’s career section, Mattel adds that it is “committed to providing parents with a supportive, family- friendly environment that allows you to give your best at work and at home” by offering unlimited paid time off for salaried employees, childcare centres, and parent resource groups.

The Independent has contacted Mattel for comment.


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