TikTok Firings and Employers Quiet Mass Layoffs

Employers Learn How to Take More Money from Docile American Workforce, But the Kids Aren’t Having It and Good for Them.

Ellen Beth Gill


These are my off-the-cuff observations and not legal advice.

You can always trust the media to take the wrong lessons from any situation. In this case, we’re meant to focus on the justifiable yet heartlessly executed termination of 3-month employee Brittany Pietsch. You can further trust the social media, pro-corporate trolls to berate her for attempting to stand up for herself. A few people commend her for standing up for herself, but I’ve seen more posts berating her and laughing that she ruined her career. While I think she handled herself with more poise than most people would have, none of these are my takeaways.

This is not about heart. It’s about money.

My takeaway: If I were Brittany, I’d have taken that tape to an employment lawyer, not TikTok. I don’t care that the CEO now stumbles to show his great compassion by claiming the dismissal was merely badly done and how he cringed at the heartlessness. This isn’t about heart. It’s about money.

The dismissal video left me with a question: how does the company monetarily benefit from firing people “for cause” instead of making a clean layoff or restructuring? Our legal system gifts employers with “at will” employment — the ability to correct their own staffing mistakes by declaring an oopsie and dismissing people not for cause, no harm, no foul, unless, of course, the dismissed worker depends on their salary for little things like food and shelter.

Faulting the Employee with No Evidence, Just Some Goofy Sports Analogy

By firing Brittany for cause, the company chose to make the official statement that she didn’t perform within expectations. The CEO claimed on social media, and not in a personal call to Brittany, that the company knows an employee will succeed or fail within three months. He doesn’t say how. They just magically know. Yet, despite the magic, they’re unable to impart this alchemy to Brittany or anyone else.

The CEO further claimed on social media that some underperforming employees don’t listen to the negative feedback they’re given and went on yada yada about healthy organizations removing non-performing employees. He doesn’t say if the company removed the HR reps who…