Co-op worker ‘sacked for posting TikTok videos of herself in work uniform’
Published in Jan 2021 / Updated in Feb 2021
Lucy Skinner, 24, was fired from her customer assistant job at the Co-operative on Leece Street in Liverpool city center. The decision came after the woman had worked there for more than a year and a half.
Fired in the Middle of a Crisis
The woman said that she was “shocked” and “angry” that it happened in the midst of the pandemic when everyone is “skint.”
Lucy claimed that she didn’t know that filming social media videos would cause a problem.
She said to the Liverpool Echo that the worst thing she ever did was call customers ‘Karens’ – a derogatory term used to call very entitled people.
“The Co-operative dismissed me without notice during a pandemic for making TikTok videos.
“So in the month of January when everyone is skint and during the pandemic they decide to tell me and dismiss me straight away without a warning.”
“The TikTok videos were of me wearing a uniform but nobody told me it wasn’t allowed because I see it all the time on the platform, even NHS staff in their uniforms are making videos.”
“And every retail company has people making videos with their uniform on.”
She was suspended a week before they fired her:
“It’s effectively immediately dismissed without notice.”
“I just feel angrier really because I had no idea that it was coming and it was such a shock for me, especially during the pandemic in the month when everyone is skint in January.”
She said that it would be understandable if the videos were abusive.
But she insisted that jokingly calling customers ‘Karens’ is the worst thing she did. However, some consider this term to be ageist and sexist.
Lucy also posted a clip implying that managers have arguments with employees when they make mistakes which they, themselves, make.
All that for a Joke?
Although she claimed “it was only a joke,” she has since deleted that video from her page, fearing that it could cause an issue.
A couple of clips posted on her account feature bad language.
“The worst thing I did is call customers ‘Karens,’ but it was a joke, and I see it all the time on TikTok, other supermarket staff in Tesco or even NHS staff do it, so I thought I wasn’t doing anything wrong,” Lucy explained.
Lucy suspected that staff members and management had known about her account for a while before firing her.
She said: “They knew I made the TikTok videos, but they never warned me about it or gave me a chance to stop making them and delete them.”
Lucy has one main complaint about getting fired: she didn’t receive any warning to delete her clips. According to her, they didn’t even let her know her actions were against their policies.
“They knew I was making them, but nobody warned me or gave me a chance to delete my TikTok videos if they were that much of an issue.
“Nobody gave me a chance to stop making them because I thought I wasn’t doing anything wrong.”
A spokesperson for the Co-operative refused to give his comment on what happened. However, he said that posts on social media are subject to forms of discipline, saying:
“We do not comment on individual cases but offensive, abusive or derogatory social media posts will not be tolerated and are subject to disciplinary measures.”