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Employees post their dismissal online: What consequences that could have in Germany

2024-02-23T04:11:44.267Z

Highlights: Employees post their dismissal online: What consequences that could have in Germany.. As of: February 23, 2024, 4:59 a.m By: David Holzner CommentsPressSplit In a TikTok trend, employees are recording their termination conversations and posting them online. At the beginning of 2024, a video went viral on the TikTok platform. It shows a young woman sitting visibly nervously at her computer. What follows is a nine-minute termination meeting – via video call.



As of: February 23, 2024, 4:59 a.m

By: David Holzner

Comments

Press

Split

In a TikTok trend, employees are recording their termination conversations and posting them online.

This could have far-reaching consequences in Germany.

At the beginning of 2024, a video went viral on the TikTok platform.

It shows a young woman sitting visibly nervously at her computer.

What follows is a nine-minute termination meeting – via video call.

The woman's name is Brittany Pietsch and she was an employee of the tech company "Cloudflare" based in San Francisco, California.

In the video's captions, she reports that her colleagues received unexpected invitations to 15-minute calls throughout the day.

Her best friend had been released just 30 minutes earlier.

Brittany senses what's coming - and records the conversation.

Live Quitting: Employees post their dismissal interview online on TikTok

A young woman in San Francisco was released via video call.

(Symbolic image) © Pond5 Images/IMAGO

The video is making waves on TikTok and is attracting imitations.

Numerous users post recordings of their discharge interviews under the hashtag #layoffs.

There were similar videos on the platform last year.

“Live quitting” is the name of the trend from the USA in which employees film themselves quitting their jobs.

In the comments under the video, many users expressed their support for Brittany.

What people think is positive is that she defends herself.

Because she already knew what was going to happen, she was prepared and went on the offensive in the conversation.

"I wanted to stand up for myself because what did I have to lose?" Brittany writes in the captions to the video.

Large-scale mass layoffs are not uncommon in the USA.

More than 190,000 employees are said to have been laid off at US technology companies in 2023 as part of massive job cuts, reports

crunchbase news

.

Many of them shortly after they were hired.

Publication of a termination interview: What consequences that would have in Germany

In Germany, well-known companies, such as Europe's largest software manufacturer SAP, also cut jobs massively at the beginning of 2024.

Videos in which people film their termination conversation are currently not known in Germany.

That could also be difficult.

Paragraph 623 of the Civil Code (BGB) requires the written form for the termination of employment relationships.

A verbal termination is therefore invalid.

What would be possible, however, is a recording of employee meetings in which the termination is communicated.

But what consequences would a video like this have in Germany?

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Recording a confidential conversation represents a violation of general personal rights and can be punished as such.

Publishing on the Internet makes this even more difficult.

Criminal consequences and claims for damages from the employer can result, according to the law firm

rightmart

in a report.

Paragraph 201 of the Criminal Code (StGB) also states that recording and distributing the word that is not spoken publicly is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 3 years or a fine.

Forever online: TikTok video could have far-reaching consequences

Plus, the internet doesn't forget anything.

Once a video like this is online, it stays there forever.

The video is therefore accessible to everyone, including potential employers.

HR professionals sometimes carry out background checks during the application process.

Such a video could reduce the applicant's chances.

In addition to possible criminal consequences for the employee and difficulties in finding a job in the future, such a video could cause massive damage to the company's image.

In the case of Brittany Pietsch, the outrage at the tech company Cloudflare went so far that CEO Matthew Prince commented on it in a post on X - formerly Twitter.

In it he defends the dismissals of many employees who have only recently joined the company.

He said his company can often tell within 3 months or less of hiring a salesperson whether they will be successful or not.

At the same time, he admits mistakes made by his HR department and says that watching the video would have been painful for him.

In the future, dismissals must be made more friendly and humane.

Source: merkur

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