Navigating “Watch Me Get Fired” Videos

An increasing number of employees are recording their termination meetings with HR representatives, managers and supervisors and posting them on various social media platforms, including TikTok, Instagram and Twitter. These videos, commonly called “Watch Me Get Fired” videos, have become a trend among workers in various industries, including fast-food employees, office workers and teachers. These videos often show private conversations between employees and supervisors, managers and HR representatives. Some videos receive millions of views.

“Watch Me Get Fired” videos demonstrate how younger generations turn to social media to speak out when they think they’ve been treated unfairly or want feedback or support. For some employees, these videos help them to process difficult emotions that often accompany being let go from their jobs. For others, these videos can lead to new employment opportunities. However, they can also bring negative consequences to the individual filming and sharing the video, including being stigmatized or having their severance withheld. These individuals may risk violating severance and other employment-related agreements.

In some cases, these videos have gone viral, exposing businesses to heavy reputational backlash and sometimes legal consequences due to substandard termination practices. They may reveal an employer’s illegal behavior when terminating employees, subjecting organizations to potential legal exposure and liability, especially since these videos can used as evidence in a legal proceeding. Even when these videos do not result in legal action, they can cause severe reputational harm to an employer.

Best Practices for Employers

  • Despite the high stakes organizations face, some employers are still mishandling terminations. Here are some best practices for virtual termination videos and what employers can do about them:
  • Limit legal pitfalls. Before conducting termination meetings, employers should ensure they avoid saying anything that could increase the risk of or lead to legal liabilities. Training those involved in termination meetings to be aware of workers’ rights and legal protections can help ensure these conversations are conducted appropriately and avoid prohibited conduct or behavior.
  • Avoid false statements. False statements can show bad faith and lead to legal troubles and reputational harm. Employers should avoid making statements during termination meetings, including promises of benefits or privileges to which an employee would not be entitled.
  • Establish workplace policies. Employers can implement policies addressing audio, video and other recordings in the workplace. Such workplace policies can provide employers with grounds to terminate individuals who violate them. However, in some circumstances, employees may have the right to make recordings at the workplace (e.g., engaging in protected concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act). Therefore, employers should ensure that any workplace prohibitions against recordings are consistent with federal, state and local laws.
  • Use performance management. Lack of performance management can lead to a negative termination experience or even surprise when an individual is terminated for performance issues, which can often increase the odds of an individual taking legal action or cause reputational harm. Regular performance evaluations and proactive employee management can help lessen the surprise when an employee is terminated for performance issues. This can help employees recognize when they’re not meeting expectations.


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Marty Thomas

Marty Thomas

Marty has spent most of the last 20 years developing software in the marketing space and creating pathways for software systems to talk to each other with high efficiency. He heads our digital marketing efforts as well as oversees any technology implementations for our clients. As a partner, Marty is also responsible for internal systems in which help our team communicates with each other and our clients.