Career expert shows what to do if a higher-up tells you something ‘borderline illegal’

@nicolejames356/TikTok Antonio Guillem/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘As an HR director, absolutely do this’: Career expert shows what to do if a higher-up tells you something ‘borderline illegal’

'Been doing this for yearssssss…. Got people SHOOK.'


Beau Paul


Posted on Jan 25, 2024   Updated on Jan 25, 2024, 8:10 am CST

Despite years of Human Resources anti-harassment videos and the supposedly more enlightened age of the 21st century, it seems some people are still incapable of talking to others respectfully in an office environment.

If you’re having to deal with an insulting or even harassing worker, former tech worker and aspiring author Nicole James (@nicolejames356) has an important tip for you: get it in writing.

The TikTok featuring this tip, which James posted on Dec. 12 of last year, has a jaw-dropping 5.2 million views and counting. In it, James answers a question posed by the @Calamityware account: “Tell me something a job has taught you that you will never ever forget no matter what.”

“If someone says something f*cked up to you, especially a higher-up, something, for example, borderline illegal, but they say it to you non-electronically, so over the phone or in person, you gotta write it down,” James says to her viewers.

But that’s not all. “You have to email it back to them from your company email address,” she says.

“For example, ‘Hey Jake. When we were talking earlier about the promotion you’re offering me where I’m going to be doing the same job as John, but for some reason, John and I won’t have the same job title—when you said you were worried I was making this a women’s lib issue, can you clarify what you meant?” James demonstrates.

@nicolejames356 #stitch with @Calamityware ♬ original sound – Nicole James

James’ video drew several approving comments from viewers who identified themselves as HR employees.

“As an HR Director, absolutely do this,” Lauren (@oh_thats_lauren) wrote.

“HR here – absolutely this! BCC HR to keep record as well because chances are if they’re saying it to you, there are others,” another added.

One viewer suggested, “bcc your personal email so you have a copy not attached to your company email.”

“ALSO TURN YOUR READ RECEIPTS ON!!” another commenter advised.

Moana (@iammoanaxo) said that even taking an analog method could prove useful. “I had a co-worker carry a notepad in her pocket at work and made notes of everything,” they wrote. “It got to a point where they didn’t even mess with her because she was the most documented.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to James for further comment.

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*First Published: Jan 25, 2024, 11:00 am CST