Much can be said on social media platforms these days such as Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. However, if these statements are complaints about your job, your employer can find out and take potentially wrongful retaliatory actions against you. This is what allegedly happened to one worker in Oregon who posted a video on TikTok about a conversation he had with his boss.
Request for paystubs
One restaurant worker posted a TikTok video regarding a discussion he had with his employer after he requested to be provided with his paystubs. The worker named his employer in his video, which had more than 1.4 million views. The worker stated his paychecks did not contain paystubs, and his employer requested that employees not process cash transactions. The worker also claimed his employer started a tip pool without telling waitstaff. The worker asked his employer to show how tips in the pool were being divided between workers. According to the worker, the employer was splitting tips based on how long an employee was working at the restaurant.
After asking further questions on his employer’s tip pooling practices, the worker received a voicemail stating that he was fired. The employer claims the worker’s TikTok statements were false and the worker was not fulfilling his job duties, leading to his termination.
Was this wrongful termination?
Does this TikToker have a case for wrongful termination? That remains to be seen. Wrongful termination occurs when a worker is fired for an illegal reason or in a way that breaches an existing employment contract. While wrongful termination laws vary between states, in general if a worker is employed at-will and the termination was based on discrimination or a violation of public policy, then this could provide the basis for a wrongful termination lawsuit. If an employer had stated guidelines for when and how a worker could be terminated, but did not follow those guidelines, this may also be grounds for wrongful termination. Ultimately, what is considered wrongful termination depends on the facts at hand, and no two situations are alike. Understanding what protections you have in the workplace can help you develop strong strategies in your wrongful termination case.