Have you seen this video yet? You know, the video where the employee in the green sportcoat does an interpretive dance to Kanye West’s song, “Gone.” Although it starts with a light message, it ends up very, very, dark. Mariana “sacrificed her relationships, time and energy,” for her current job, she states in written text during the dance/notice to her employer.. I wonder if Mariana knew about HOPA, (the young woman who “quit her job because her boss sexually harassed her. Except that, was a hoax.) In proof to show this video wasn’t a joke, the employer actually responded with a video of their own and it’s utterly fabulous.
What struck me most about the entire timeline of events is no one said, “What are the H.R. legalities around this?” Most of us know, (even without working in the H.R. field,) that the question needs to answer, because it seems like common sense, right? Don’t trash your employer in a public forum.
Earlier this year, BusinessWeek asked, “What is the National Labor Relations Act and how does it apply to social media?” According to BusinessWeek, “(The Labor Relations Act) protects employees’ right to communicate in what’s called “a concerted manner” with respect with these terms and conditions. In law, it’s usually explained as a discussion “for their mutual aid about the terms and conditions of their employment.”
In plain speak, every employee in the U.S. has a right to free speech, and the freedom to discuss their lives with coworkers; including their lives at the office. However, that freedom ends when an employee attempts to financially harm their current or former employer.
As a hiring manager, I’d have a few questions to answer before thinking of speaking to Mariana. (As a side note: This will be an entirely different discussion if Mariana didn’t already have a place to land before she did this video.) What if Mariana decided that she didn’t like her new workplace, either? If someone is willing to create an entire video to quit, what else might they do in the heat of a moment at work? Most importantly, did Mariana actually MAKE this video at work, on the company’s time? Mariana could be the most qualified for the job, but a simple search of her name brings up the video to the front page of Google and could diminish her reputation in the market.
Mariana may have gotten a lot of, “hits,” but just like she accuses her employer of not focusing on the content of each piece, Mariana clearly forgot to check her ego and character in the camera lens. If content is everything, Mariana, (even despite her best intentions,) could fall flat at her next interview, simply because she trashed her employer online. It’s really that simple. So, what should Mariana do?
Utilize the SEO and current buzz of the video to her benefit. Mariana should offer a deeper explanation and discuss her career more thoroughly. By utilizing the press and counter-pointing to her knowledge, passion and experience, she could empower those who would otherwise judge and choose to pass on her candidacy, to think a bit differently. Speculation aside, it’s clear that while I have no doubt this video felt AMAZING to produce, it may cost Mariana in the end.
While no employee should feel their job does not allow them a personal life, making difficult choices to further your career at a younger age is what sometimes is referred to as, “dedication.” Most hiring managers look for people who are willing to put in extra effort to promote their career and the company. Hopefully Mariana finds a better fit and ditches the video camera in the future.