A Virginia-based IT recruiting firm was under fire on Monday over a job posting that was seeking "preferably Caucasian" applicants.
Cynet Systems made the controversial request in an online advertisement for a pharmaceutical accounts manager position in Tampa, Florida.
"Preferably Caucasian who has good technical background including knowledge of RPA," the job description read. "Relationship individual who can get more opportunities and build the account."
Employment discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or race or skin color is illegal.
Social media users were outraged as screenshots of the racist job post made the rounds.
"That just confirms for me the conversations that are really happening that led to a posting having that content. Insane. No sympathy for the 'mistake' from me. This is deeply rooted," one Twitter uses wrote.
"I can't believe something like this still exists in this day and age," another user added.
Cynet Systems, based in Sterling, Virginia, apologized "for the anger & frustration caused by the offensive job post" and blamed the mistake on a former employee.
"We understand why some may have been upset seeing this listing, because we were too," the company said in a statement Monday. "It is a long-standing policy for our company to refuse any request to list jobs only seeking candidates of any specific ethnicity, gender, or other inappropriate restrictions, and we will turn clients down if they demand requirements of this type be included."
It also noted that its owners "are Indian-Americans [and] our workforce is over 60% minority," according to the statement.
It did not disclose specific details about the employer at the center of the job position or if they requested Caucasian candidates, but it said it the person who created the posting had been terminated.
"The individuals involved in this case were terminated immediately for a significant violation of company policy, and we have already begun a review of all currently existing and upcoming ads to ensure no similar issues exist," the statement said. "We are also looking at measures that could help us catch offensive or outside-of-policy ads before they ever go live to ensure this can't happen again."