Going Viral For All The Wrong Reasons

HR stories from the front lines*

(*These Incidents happened; but names and other details have been changed.)

Everyone loves a viral video, but what would you do if a damaging video of your business went VIRAL? What if an employee posted the video? If your first instinct is to terminate, think again and read on.

Viral Video of Employees Gone Wild and More

This year we’ve seen videos of employees brawling with customers at the counter, employees behaving badly in the drive thru, videos of vermin scurrying in kitchens, and employees on Tik Tok engaging in drug use while in uniform or on duty. Some of these videos have made the national news focusing negative attention on the business you’ve worked so hard to build.

To add insult to injury, employers are dealing with public relations fallout of these detrimental videos, receiving threats to lose business, battling negative comments from internet “trolls”, and other backlash from their local community.

More often than not, the knee jerk reaction is to immediately terminate the creators of these salacious videos. But, will that make all your troubles go away? Unfortunately, it could be just the beginning of your biggest nightmare.

While terminating an employee for soiling your good name seems like a no-brainer, some of the content in these videos may protect the employee who posted them. For example, videos depicting safety violations, discrimination, sexual harassment, or employees complaining about management or working conditions may be protected under public policy, OSHA, anti-harassment laws, or the National Labor Relations Act.

Best Solution:

The best thing an employer can do is reach out to their HR professional or employment law attorney as soon as the viral video is discovered for direction on whether the content is protected or truly cause for termination.

Sound human resources practices have been proven to promote healthy, measurable growth in businesses. Understanding your options around building a solid HR infrastructure means that you’ll be able to make the decision that best supports your company’s growth. If you’re ready to start setting up scalable systems for your business, get in touch.

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