publix employee reveals working conditions tiktok


‘They made me have a doctor’s note to have a water bottle with me’: Publix worker calls out grocery chain for terrible employee treatment

‘Just a friendly reminder that major corporations do not give a sh*t about their employees.’


Cecilia Lenzen


A viral TikToker is calling out Publix, a popular southern grocery store chain, for not valuing its employees.

TikToker Jack (@jack_petocz) says he worked for Publix from when he was 14 years old to just a few months ago. In a recent video that garnered about 338,000 views, the 17-year-old explains what it was actually like working for the major chain.

@jack_petocz Oh Publix #publix #florida #laborday #labor #politics ♬ original sound – Jack Petocz

Jack says his first role at Publix was front service clerk, which means he bagged groceries, brought shopping carts in from outside, and helped customers load groceries into their cars. He says he was paid $8.50 per hour and often had to work in 100-degree heat while helping customers load their groceries. He claims Publix didn’t want customers to think it was a “service” to have employees carry their groceries out to them, so they didn’t allow employees to accept tips for doing so. Jack had to wear a badge that said, “Carryout service is our pleasure. No tipping, please.”

“So while barely making minimum wage, I was forced to turn down a $2 tip from customers wanting to help me out,” Jack says in the video.

The TikToker also called out Publix’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, many retail and customer service employees worked long hours to keep essential items stocked. Many major corporations thanked their employees for the extra work and sacrifices with cash bonuses and pay raises. Jack cited Walmart paying their employees cash bonuses and Target increasing employees’ hourly pay.

Publix did next to nothing, though, Jack claims. He says the company gave employees a taxable $100 gift card to their store.

“That was their thank you while making billions off our labor,” Jack says. “Just a friendly reminder that major corporations do not give a shit about their employees, and we need to continue calling them out for it.”

Some TikTok viewers added to Jack’s claims, saying they experienced the same things and worse while they worked at Publix.

“The way they gave us a free sub or fruit salad every 6 months, but no employee discounts????? be so fr rn,” one viewer commented.

“Plus they only give you 10-23 hrs a week and your schedule changes every week so it’s hard to get another job,” a second viewer commented.

A third said, “They made me get a doctors note to use the bathroom more than once every four hours while on my period.”

A fourth wrote, “& u aren’t allowed to sit down unless u have a drs note lol. One store manager even made people have a doctors note to have WATER at the Registers.”

Publix customers also commented, sharing their feelings about the “no tipping” policy.

“This is why I would never let them take my groceries to the car. If I can’t tip, I’m not asking for you to go outside in 100 degree weather,” one user said.

“I always tip at Publix, all you have to say is take it please, 3 times. That way they don’t insult the tipper (that’s me),” another user wrote.

One employee commented, “I worked there too and still took the tips especially during the holidays.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Publix via email and to the creator via TikTok comment.

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The Daily Dot