A TikToker says he refuses to work for The Cheesecake Factory after learning how its employment contract exploits workers to turn a profit.
In a viral TikTok that was posted on Sunday and has over 450,000 views, Austin Newtoff (@austinnewtoff) explains that he was offered a job at the Cheesecake Factory only to turn down it down after reading the employment contract.
According to Newtoff, the package includes clauses like mandatory arbitration, meaning that if a conflict arises, like discrimination or harassment, employees must report incidents to the company to handle with a mediator before going to law enforcement or else risk termination. Newtoff also says there’s a “social media clause” for The Cheesecake Factory to have the right to enter employees’ personal accounts and sell their information to third-person parties.
“I’ve been in this industry a long time, I’ve seen a lot of houses, I’ve seen a lot of stuff,” Newtoff says in the clip. “I have never seen anything like that. They try to hide it in the verbiage that is for the best experience for you at the Cheesecake Factory for them to help you with your experience, but they’re cashing a check on top of you based on the information you’re feeding them.”
Newtoff says he has over 10 years of cooking experience and four years of management experience and was looking for a part-time job to supplement his full-time work.
“I hope you understand that’s not right in any form and I hope you get out of there,” he says.
Some TikTokers agreed with Newtoff in the comments. “Former HR Worker It’s never in the interest of the employees. To the company all employees are replaceable. We mean nothing to them,” TikToker @ankh.soundsasmr wrote.
TikToker @ipyree wrote, “A lot of companies do this. It’s really sus.”
Others pointed out how most employee contracts have similar arbitration clauses. “Arbitration is in literally every contractual agreement you enter/sign,” @randomcontentman4 wrote. “Read any terms of service for any online platform you use. Always there.”
Arbitration tends to favor corporations. According to the Economic Policy Institute, “As one judge opined, these trends give corporations a ‘get out of jail free’ card for all potential transgressions. These trends are undermining decades of progress in consumer and labor rights.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Newtoff and The Cheesecake Factory for comment.
Update 7:09am CT, Dec. 11: A spokesperson for Cheesecake Factory tells the Daily Dot in an email that, “The company’s social media policy does not require staff members to waive their rights or to give up their passwords. We do not sell our staff members’ personal information nor do we proactively monitor their personal social media pages.
While our staff members do sign arbitration agreements, our arbitration agreements specifically exclude certain claims that are not legally subject to arbitration.”
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