Mattel changed a remote-job description after drawing backlash because it said the boss could make ‘unplanned visits’ to an employee’s home

A woman gives two thumbs up while videoconferencing in her home for a remote job interview
  • Mattel has drawn ire for a job listing saying the boss could visit the worker’s home unannounced.
  • It has since removed this from the job description for an American Girl home customer service agent.
  • The description appeared to also require the work environment had no children, pets, or talking.

Mattel has changed a job description that drew criticism for saying the worker in the role could be subject to unannounced home visits from their boss.

The job description said, “There may be periodic unplanned visits from a Supervisor during scheduled work shifts,” according to a screenshot of the listing posted in a tweet earlier this week. “Yup, actual listing from Mattel for a remote position about a month ago,” the Twitter user captioned the post.

Mattel confirmed to Insider that the job description is for a seasonal customer service home agent role for American Girl. The toy company added that it has hired 250 workers for this role so far this year and clarified that the job posting has been inactive since early October.

“American Girl prides itself on providing a supportive environment for employees and ensuring information security for our customers,” the company said in a statement. “Our Seasonal Customer Service Home Agent positions process customer orders, requiring those individuals have access to a private workspace to protect and maintain customer confidentiality. While security is a critical piece of this role, the job description no longer includes language about unplanned visits, which were never put into practice.”

Fox Business previously reported the job description change.

The role also appeared to require a “closed-door work area with no distractions or background noise (ie: pets, children, machinery, music or talking),” according to the tweet of its job description. It added that the employee “must be focused on work and not responsible for the caretaking of others (children, elderly, pets, etc.).”

Disapproving users sounded off in the comments, with one saying, “That’s just ridiculous to say someone could stop by your home. Hire the right people, use metrics to review work, counsel & fire if they don’t hit them. But if you don’t trust your people to do their job, they will never trust you enough to care about doing a good job.”

Another added, “I never worked in an office with no talking, but somehow that’s a solid demand for a home office?”

Many companies have monitored their employees with greater frequency since going remote due to COVID-19. Experts say they’re particularly keeping an eye out for how much work remote employees are doing and whether any are attempting to steal company data.