woman dancing in hot topic


‘Hot Topic doesn’t value anyone’s labor’: Former employee says she found a new job and quit after not getting 21-cent raise

'My request was denied.'


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Nov 15, 2021   Updated on Nov 16, 2021, 10:10 am CST

Hot Topic has been in hot water over the past week after a note from employees stating that they were walking out because of a lack of livable wages went viral, but it’s once again getting attention after one apparently now-former employee said she quit over a pay discrepancy.

According to TikToker @mckee.sniffle, a co-worker had been recently promoted to the same position as her and was being paid more. So, in an effort to make sure that both people were being paid the same amount of money while working the same position, @mckee.sniffle asked for a raise—one that would’ve come out to 21 cents more an hour.

“Despite my 2 years with the company, having the highest sales almost every quarter and working full time in a part time position,” @mckee.sniffle wrote. “My request was denied.”


In @mckee.sniffle’s TikTok, which shows her dancing inside of a Hot Topic to Monsieur Periné’s “Nuestra Canción,” she said that four days after she was denied a 21-cent raise to obtain equal pay, she was able to find a higher-paying job elsewhere and put in her notice with Hot Topic. (In the comments, @mckee.sniffle said she didn’t film the video on the clock.)

We reached out to @mckee.sniffle via TikTok comment.

Her TikTok went viral and was flooded with comments, prompting her to make a follow-up video to clear up a few things, such as how pay raises work at Hot Topic: Raises are based on a percentage of your earnings, so if the minimum wage is higher when you start working, you’ll make more money than someone who worked there longer.

“The person promoted—not a man,” @mckee.sniffle said. “Gender has nothing to do with this. Hot Topic doesn’t value anyone’s labor.”

The TikTok has been viewed more than 5.7 million times as of Monday afternoon.


And, in a comment that she posted to the original video, her issues with Hot Topic were with the corporate side, not her store’s managers, which is why she didn’t immediately walk out when she was denied the raise.

“I gave them notice because I love my team,” she said. “I genuinely love the group of people that I work with. The person who denied my request was a corporate higher-up, and he wouldn’t have been affected if I had decided to screw over my team or not, so I wasn’t going to do that to them.”

In duets and stitches, @mckee.sniffle was applauded for refusing to stay at a job that refused to give her a small raise to reach pay equity.


#stitch with @mckee.sniffle just wanted to share my own recent experience, JM is shit/doesnt care ab their workers #fyp #jerseymikes #mikesway #nasty

♬ Nuestra Canción (feat. Vicente García) – Monsieur Periné

We’ve reached out to Hot Topic via contact form online and Instagram DM.

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*First Published: Nov 15, 2021, 4:07 pm CST