Worker says employer used a photo of her on her phone to warn other employees


‘Get me off of it’: McDonald’s uses photo of teen on her phone to warn other employees

'When work uses you on a poster and didn't tell you.'


Jack Alban


Posted on May 21, 2023

There have been instances of folks not realizing that their likenesses were being used in photographs without their knowledge or permission. But here, a TikToker named Jords (@brunetteasian) discovered that her photograph was being used as an example of how not to behave at work.

Jords posted about her experience in a now viral TikTok that has garnered over 10,000 likes on the popular social media platform. In the clip, she shows what appears to be CCTV camera footage of her at work at an Australian McDonald’s which was then screen captured by her employer to be used in a “what not to do at work” poster.

The TikToker appeared to be surprised by the discovery in the clip.

@brunetteasian the picture is staged ‼️‼️‼️ #maccas #maccasworker #fyp #viral ♬ original sound – carson

She writes in a text overlay of the video: “when work uses you on a poster and didn’t tell you.” According to her bio, she’s 16 years old and lives in Sydney.

The clip then transitions to an image of a work poster used for reminding customers not to be on their phone. On it, a photo of Jords can be seen standing behind a counter, smartphone in front of her. In caption for the video, a hashtag reads: “#maccasworker”

Some TikTokers founds the situation humorous, like one person who wrote: “that’s hilarious i can’t.”

Another quipped, “Gotta learn the blind spots.”

One other user on the site said that it was reminiscent of school behavioral shaming practices: “When the teacher uses your work as a ‘what not to do’ example.”

According to social media educator Neal Schaffer, businesses cannot post an employee’s photograph online or on promotional materials without said worker’s permission: “Generally, the answer is no. Unless you’ve signed a waiver or release specifically authorizing your employer to use your image, your boss likely needs your consent before publishing any photos that feature you. This is true even if you’re not the focus of the photo – for example, if you’re captured in the background of a group shot. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. If you’re photographed in a public place, your employer may not need your permission to post the image.”

And SHRM states that while “there is no federal regulation which specifically prohibits an employer from using employing photos for business purposes…there are however many states that restrict the use of an individual’s name, image, voice, photo or ‘likeness’ for commercial purposes without the person’s prior consent.”

In the case of Jords, it seems that the poster she showed isn’t used for marketing the business, but rather for internal communications among employees.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Maccas (McDonald’s Australia) via email and Jords via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: May 21, 2023, 5:01 pm CDT