A worker at a customer service company says she was fired after making a TikTok video of herself laughing over a photo sent to her by management of herself away from her desk—which they took through her own webcam. This came with a message telling her to contact her supervisor because they had locked her computer for the crime of standing up to get something to eat.
According to TikTok user Michae Jay, this is standard procedure for the company, which requires its workers to have their web cameras on at all times while they’re on the clock and periodically checks through these cameras to see if they’re on task. Employees are not allowed to get up from their chairs, have another person in the room, or even use a mobile device while they’re working.
Apparently, they’re also not allowed to make TikTok videos about this, even if they don’t name the company or actually criticize the policy.
The original video shows Jay’s computer screen with the photo of her in her kitchen saying “NOT AT DESK Action Applied.” Jay is cracking up in the background and seems to take the blame for breaking the rules, even if the rules are micromanaging and terrible.
“Y’all these people done locked my computer,” she says. “They done locked my computer because I was in the kitchen cooking. Bro, this is why they don’t want us working from home.”
After the video got a decent amount of views, Jay says she was told she was fired, then told that she was only suspended pending an “investigation” into her video and to get on a Zoom meeting with corporate. After that meeting, she says she was fired. Again.
In follow-up videos, Jay explained that she was not allowed to cover up her webcam and that she was locked out because she forgot to lock her screen before getting up to cook. It’s unclear if this was for a scheduled break or what exactly happened, but Jay ended her video on this question by asking if anyone knew about other work-from-home jobs in Texas.
In other videos, she confirmed that she does not deal with sensitive customer information like social security numbers and that yes, the micromanaging and surveillance bothers her, but she really needed a job.
She also accused the company of being misleading about their pay, reducing the workers’ pay rate if they worked fewer hours per week and then trying to lie and say their employees had worked fewer hours than they did, which is wage theft.
She further confirmed that the company has a high turnover rate.
Speaking with the Daily Dot, Jay said she felt like she was fired out of retaliation for speaking up against this poor treatment of workers on her TikTok account in spite of the fact that she has never named the company. She also alleged additional wage theft, saying that she had to drive back and forth to and from the company office in order to get everything working because they forgot to send her with necessary cords, but only paid her for half of the time this labor took.
“Yes I feel like everything they are doing is out of retaliation of me speaking out about how unprofessional they are,” she wrote. “They had me going back and forth to the job because they forgot to put cords in my box and said they would only pay me for 2 hours of tech time. When it took 4. Then they FIRED ME then called back and added me to a zoom and said OH YOU ARE NOT FIRED you are suspended then called me yesterday and said I’m fired.”
All that is known about the company is that they support the fintech firm Klarna, which told the Daily Dot that it was also investigating the matter.
Many commenters have expressed sentiments that Jay is better off away from this highly controlling and shady business, and we all hope she finds something better soon.
“Nah they micromanaging and it’s not even that damn serious,” wrote one user. “Girl! It’s time to go.”
“I’d be contacting labor law lawyers. Immediately,” said another. “Or QUIT and file for a hostile work environment and get unemployment.”