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Customers walk into an Aldi supermarket in Bensalem, Pa., on March 14, 2022. (AP) Customers walk into an Aldi supermarket in Bensalem, Pa., on March 14, 2022. (AP)

Customers walk into an Aldi supermarket in Bensalem, Pa., on March 14, 2022. (AP)

Jeff Cercone
By Jeff Cercone March 1, 2024

If Your Time is short

  • An Aldi job listing posted by Jobs for Humanity, which connects groups that are underrepresented in the workforce to employers, mentioned 12 categories of people it said would be prioritized.

  • Three of those groups mention race — Black, Asian and Hispanic — and nine others mention categories such as older Americans, military veterans and single parents, all of which could include white people.

  • Here’s how PolitiFact chooses which statements to fact-check.

An Aldi supermarkets employment ad has some conservatives complaining on social media that it shows the German-owned discount grocer is no longer hiring white people.

A woman in a Feb. 4 Instagram video said, "Guys, you missed it. Aldi is hiring everybody but white people."

As evidence of her claim, the woman read from a LinkedIn job listing Jobs for Humanity posted for a national procurement specialist that read:

"Jobs for Humanity is partnering with Aldi to build an inclusive and just employment ecosystem. Therefore, we prioritize individuals coming from the following communities: Refugee, Neurodivergent, Single Parent, Blind or Low Vision, Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Military Veterans, the Elderly, the LGBTQ, and Justice Impacted individuals. This position is open to candidates who reside in and have the legal right to work in the country where the job is located."

The woman also read from a separate job search page on Aldi’s website that discussed diversity, equity and inclusion at the company. These efforts aim to diversify workforces by including underrepresented groups, such as ethnic minorities, older people and LGBTQ+ people. 

High-profile conservatives have criticized the job ad on social media. Libs of TikTok, for example, wrote on X that Aldi "will prioritize everyone except straight white people." X owner Elon Musk replied to the post, writing, "racism is racism, no matter who it is directed at."

Jobs for Humanity’s website says the company’s goal is "connecting historically underrepresented talent to welcoming employers." The website further says that millions of people in groups such as visually impaired workers, single mothers and refugees "face a disproportionate lack of opportunity in the job market."

"Jobs for Humanity is an employment platform dedicated to providing accessible job opportunities for everyone, regardless of ethnicity," Roy Baladi, the company’s co-founder, said.

Baladi said Jobs for Humanity coaches job seekers; creates job boards for groups such as neurodivergent people or single parents; trains recruiters on topics such as creating accessible career pages for visually impaired people; and promotes inclusive interview processes to minimize potential biases.

Aldi did not answer our request for comment, but Baladi said his company, not Aldi, wrote the job ad in the Instagram post. Aldi  hires candidates who answer the ad, not Jobs for Humanity.

Job postings on Aldi’s LinkedIn page do not contain the language in the Instagram post, but do include language such as "ALDI is committed to equal opportunity for all employees and applicants," language that is typically seen in many job ads.

@politifact Critics are saying a Aldi job posting was discriminating against white people. Here's what we found. #aldi #jobs #fyp #context #learnontiktok ♬ Spicy Pear - DJ BAI

On Aldi’s webpage about diversity, equity and inclusion, the company said it seeks  "an employee base that better represents the communities we serve, which means retaining a more diverse population of candidates at all levels of the company."

Baladi said the claim that Aldi is not hiring white people is false, and that Jobs for Humanity does not discriminate.

"We are not discriminatory in any way and have successfully placed at least 100 individuals who may identify as caucasian in jobs," Baladi said, referring to overall job placements. "We never intended to imply anyone is excluded, and we have refined the language in our job advertisements to reflect this commitment to inclusivity."

The language change was not in response to the conservatives’ criticism of the Aldi ad, but to similar feedback his organization received from people who said they felt excluded by the agency’s language, Baladi said.

Jobs for Humanity lists no current job openings for Aldi on its website or LinkedIn page, but other ads we found on its LinkedIn page have language that reads, "Jobs for Humanity is partnering with Nielsen to build an inclusive and just employment ecosystem. Therefore, we prioritize individuals coming from all walks of life." However, other listings on its LinkedIn pages have language similar to the Aldi ad.

Diversity efforts under fire

Some conservatives, including former President Donald Trump, have recently criticized companies’ diversity, equity and inclusion efforts arguing these efforts are discriminatory and that hiring should hinge on merit. 

In July, 13 Republican attorneys general sent a letter to Fortune 100 CEOs that warned the Supreme Court’s overturning of affirmative action in college admissions in June should be a warning to every employer about factoring race in hiring decisions. The letter asked the executives to "immediately cease any unlawful race-based quotas or preferences your company has adopted for its employment and contracting practices."

Twenty-one Democratic attorneys general responded with their own letter, urging companies not to be intimidated into ceasing DEI efforts.

What experts say

Most employment law experts we spoke with said the Jobs for Humanity ad isn’t proof that Aldi is not hiring white people. But some of the experts called the ad’s language problematic and said it could be used against Aldi in a discrimination lawsuit.

"The ad by itself does not prove that Aldi is not hiring white people," City University of New York School of Law professor Rick Rossein told PolitiFact in an email. But, he said, "It could be offered as circumstantial evidence as proof of discrimination because of race."

Rossein pointed to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. The EEOC website, in a section on job advertisements, said it’s illegal for a job ad to show a preference for or discourage people from applying because of race.

Three of the 12 categories the ad said would be prioritized, were race-specific: Black, Asian and Hispanic. The other nine categories — including elderly people and military veterans — could include whites or any other ethnic group, experts said.

Phyllis Towzey, a Florida employment lawyer, said the Aldi ad is seeking applicants from a wide range of groups that are underrepresented in the workforce. She said it’s an example of diversity recruiting and aims to ensure all candidates have a fair shot.

"The ad does not suggest that white people should not apply or will not be hired," Towzey said.

UCLA law professor Noah Zatz said "many of the groups listed undoubtedly are majority white, so the idea that the ad implies not hiring white people is plainly wrong." 

University of Arizona law professor Christopher Griffin also said he sees nothing in the job posting that shows white people won’t be hired. He pointed to language at the bottom of the job posting in which Aldi stated its nondiscrimination policy and wrote, "We do not discriminate based on race" and other factors.

"Statements of preference in employment, whether or not they are legally valid, tend not to categorically exclude groups protected by state and federal law," Griffin said. "Simply stated, prioritization is not the same thing as exclusion."

Chicago-Kent College of Law professor Richard Gonzalez said discrimination lawsuits hinge largely on intent. And, he said, litigants increasingly use DEI language such as this as evidence of an "intent to favor minorities." 

Texas A&M University law professor Michael Green seized on the ad’s use of the word "prioritize."

The ad is "not proof of a negative," he said, but "if litigation ensued, they might have to explain what (the word prioritize) meant and that it did not involve considering those priorities based on race to the detriment of other candidates not of those races. That would be race discrimination."

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Our Sources

Instagram post, Feb. 4, 2024 (archived)

Jobs for Humanity, About us, accessed Feb. 28, 2024 

Aldi, More Is... including every perspective of our people., accessed Feb. 28, 2024 

Aldi, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at ALDI, accessed Feb. 28, 2024

Email and phone interviews, Roy Baladi, cofounder of Jobs for Humanity, Feb. 29, 2024 

Email interview, Phyllis Towzey, Florida employment lawyer, Feb. 27, 2024

Email interview, Noah Zatz, UCLA law professor, Feb. 29, 2024

Email interview, Christopher Griffin, University of Arizona law professor, Feb. 29, 2024

Email interview, Richard Gonzalez, law professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Feb. 29, 2024

Email interview, Michael Green, Texas A&M University law professor, Feb. 28, 2024

Email interview, Rick Rossein, City University of New York School of Law professor, Feb. 28, 2024

Washington Post, Republican attorneys general warn companies against ‘race-based quotas’, July 13, 2023

Forbes, Discrimination Against White Job Applicants And Employees, Or Is It Racial Equity? July 23, 2023

Republican attorneys general Letter to Fortune 100 companies, July 13, 2023

Democratic  attorneys general letter to Fortune 100 companies, July 19, 2023

USA Today, Culture wars are spreading to work: Republican and Democrat workers deeply divided over DEI, May 17, 2023

Politico, The new Red Scare for red states: Diversity programs, March 19, 2023

Daily Express US, Donald Trump vows to eliminate ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ programs in fiery speech, July 1, 2023

The Associated Press, Republican lawmakers are backing dozens of bills targeting diversity efforts on campus and elsewhere, Feb. 10, 2024

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Prohibited Employment Policies/Practices, accessed Feb. 28, 2024 

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