A worker claimed his workplace is subtly forcing employees to watch training videos by putting a television in the breakroom.
In a video with over 628,000 views, user Alex (@draccminiak) claims that his workplace “didn’t like that people were using the breakroom for breaks.” As a result, it allegedly placed a television in the break room that constantly plays training videos. Alex films the TV in question, and the training video implies the company he works for is the Tractor Supply Company.
“Does this mean I don’t clock out for breaks?” Alex questioned in the text.
In the comments section, many users claimed that if the company was making him watch these videos on his break, he should be compensated for it.
“Nope! Not a break anymore, that’s professional development,” wrote one user.
“If it is training video you are still working,” claimed another.
“Consult your HR department and ask if training is paid. If they say yes and ‘training videos’ continue in the break room, never clock out,” suggested a third.
“Unless you’re salary or a contractor, it’s illegal to not give you a break,” alleged a further user. The truthfulness of this varies from state to state.
“They can have the video playing. but you don’t have to participate,” the user continued.
The latter issue seems to be the main sticking point when it comes to judging the legality of what is happening in the video.
If Alex is required to watch these training videos on his break, he is most likely entitled to compensation as an employer “cannot dictate how an employee uses their break,” per LawInfo.
However, if this is simply an optional way for him to spend his break time, it does not appear that he would be entitled to call this time on-the-clock.
That said, the presence of the television in the personal space of the employees angered many on TikTok. In response, some users suggested sabotage.
“Ngl, I have just taken the remote from the office to turn it down bc I will be taking my break,” alleged a commenter.
“Most TV’s have a headphone jack, break off the end of a pair of head phones n stick it in there. it’ll mute it n they won’t be able to turn on sound,” offered a second.
“Just unplug the TV,” an additional user contended.
Unfortunately, Alex revealed this is allegedly impossible.
“They put a notice that we can’t mute or turn off the tv,” he responded.
Update 6:56am CT, Oct. 13: Tractor Supply Company told the Daily Dot the following in a statement: “We are passionate about ensuring our Team Members have a positive workplace environment. As part of this, we comply with all state and federal wage and hour laws, including those that regulate mandated employee breaks. Our Team Members thrive when a healthy work atmosphere is combined with properly managed resources, and this is a priority for us every day. The videos we play in our breakrooms are for informational purposes only and not mandatory training. They are designed to be fun and engaging. That’s our policy.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Alex via Instagram direct message.