Update 4:50pm CT, Feb. 4: According to a spokesperson for the Texas Education Agency, the individual from the viral TikTok was “never an employee of the Texas Education Agency, nor was there an inadvertent payment made to this individual from the agency.” In a TikTok posted on Friday, @rebuildingmary is surprised about her recent virality but does not seem to be changing her story, saying: “Had I known this was gonna be the freaking video that was gonna go freaking viral I would have at least not been in my freaking bathrobe.” She added: “The check was not the problem. The fact that I got fired because my ex-husband is awful is the problem. Not the check.”
The Daily Dot’s original report is below, and the story has been updated for clarity and context.
A TikToker said that her former employer asked her to send a check to return a payment made in error, sparking debate in the comments.
In a now-viral video, Amaryah @rebuildingmary recounts that she noticed an unexpected payment of $3,000 in her bank account and reported it to her alleged former employer, the Texas Education Agency, via email. The video shows an email thread between her and her employer in which the agency confirms the error and asks her to send back a check.
“I’m 24. I don’t have checks,” Amaryah says. “I don’t know anybody that actually has a checkbook anymore.”
She explains that her nearest bank is 45 minutes away and that she was unwilling to make the trip for their mistake. The video had over 1.9 million views on Wednesday.
“Do not return it via check,” user @kjguyette said in a comment. “Tell them to do an ACH pull back and get written confirmation that they removed the funds and you will not be taxed.”
“They made the error. They need to fix it. It’s not your responsibility,” another user wrote.
In a video reply to the viral clip, Amaryah says that she was eventually able to reverse the transaction without requiring a check by contacting the bank.
“To do a reversal there is a fee,” user @itschelbythesea wrote in a comment that was liked by Amaryah. “They were trying to make you do the work so they didn’t have to pay it.”
In another TikTok video, Amaryah says that her termination was the result of alleged harassment and blackmailing by her ex-husband, which the agency became aware of. Because she was allegedly employed by the Texas Education Agency and not the specific school district, Amaryah expresses her frustration that she was fired instead of being moved to a different location.
“My lawyer said I probably have grounds to sue for wrongful termination,” she said in a comment. “I wasn’t going to but this genuinely made me mad.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Amaryah via TikTok comment and Twitter direct message, and to the Texas Education Agency via email.
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