A worker sparked speculation on TikTok after claiming her boss took her off the schedule entirely in lieu of directly firing them.
In a video with over 964,000 views, user Cierra (@cierra.rw) shows her schedule, which is blank.
“When they completely take you off the schedule instead of just telling you your fired,” she writes in the text overlaying the video.
At first, many TikTokers questioned the legality of such a move. Others speculated that this was done to encourage Cierra to quit instead of having to fire her, meaning that she would face difficulties collecting unemployment.
“They do this so u have to quit so y’all cannot collect unemployment until you get another job,” alleged a user.
“In a lot of states, reduced hours qualifies you for unemployment while still employed,” stated a second.
“Don’t quit,” advised a further TikToker. “let them fire you.”
There are two main aspects to explore here.
In employment law, the first is referred to as “constructive dismissal.” The term refers to when an employer makes a workplace undesirable to work at in order to force an employee to quit. This can include elements such as delaying payment, harassing employees, and dramatically reducing working hours.
Quitting that job, in such cases, can be regarded as involuntary—and thus make the employee eligible for unemployment benefits, though this frequently must be legally proven.
This is where the second point comes in. In cases where hours have been cut completely, many experts advise first talking to management in a way that can be documented—and if that doesn’t work, simply applying for unemployment anyway.
From there, a worker can make a case that, though they may technically still be employed on paper, the reality of their situation makes clear they are fully or partially unemployed.
Above all, users were frustrated that bosses employ tactics like these instead of being direct with their employees.
“…it’s literally so disrespectful/dehumanizing,” shared a commenter. “I paid a $30 uber to work only to find out i was fired.”
“Happened to me,” recalled another. “I just went to the office and handed them my badge.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Cierra via Instagram direct message.