Employee Feels Like Their Work Is Unappreciated, So They Quit And Take The Docs They Created With Them, Boss Starts Looking For Them In Less Than 24h
A few days ago, a TikToker who goes on the platform by the nickname Queerbigan uploaded a video that has ignited a debate among its users on the employer-employee relationship. The post Employee Feels Like Their Work Is Unappreciated, So They Quit And Take The Docs They Created With Them, Boss Starts Looking For Them In Less Than 24h first appeared on Bored Panda.
A few days ago, a TikToker who goes on the platform by the nickname Queerbigan uploaded a video that has ignited a debate among its users on the employer-employee relationship.
In the clip, they explain why they felt unappreciated and say that it ultimately led to quitting. However, Queerbigan also admits that they took everything they produced at work, making the company go after them via phone (to which they responded by making the matter public).
As the TikTok gained traction, some viewers criticized the move and suggested that Queerbigan has opened themselves up to legal liability, while others are certain that the predatory business got what it deserved.
This TikToker just made the brave decision to quit their job
Image credits: _queerbigan
But they also took everything they produced for the company with them
According to Michele Martell, an intellectual property attorney who has counseled businesses from The Muppets to the WWE and Crayola, as well as many individual inventors and creators, the Copyright Act automatically assigns authorship to employers rather than employee creators or inventors in two specific situations.
The first is where an employee develops the work within the scope of their employment, while the second occurs when the employer specifically orders or commissions the work from the employee. In both of these cases, the employer is seen as the author of the work in question.
“Broadly speaking, if an employee creates new intellectual property as part of their job, the employer owns that intellectual property,” Martell explained. “For example, if you’re an engineer and you design a more efficient engineering process, creating that new intellectual property is part of the job you’ve been hired to do.”
Everything becomes murkier only when an employee creates intellectual property that’s unrelated to their job. “If an accountant for the company, rather than an engineer, came up with that same engineering advancement, for example, there would be an argument that the work isn’t within the scope of their employment,” Martell noted.
The video in which they explain the situation immediately went viral
@_queerbigan like bro do not disrespect one of the key reasons you even hit production goals and get five star reviews! #greenscreen #officemanagement #assistantlife #quittingmyjob ♬ original sound – queerbigan
While the exact details of the conflict between Queerbigan and their employer are unclear, the TikToker released a second video to address those who think they are essentially “ending their career” with a decision like this, clarifying that, in fact, it was exactly the exception that Martell mentioned.
“You’re assuming a lot about stuff that I didn’t actually detail,” Queerbigan said. “Contractually, these documents existed outside the scope of my position.”
“[For] that and other reasons, I just don’t think that they would have a case if they did take it to court but even then, like, litigation wise, I highly doubt that that’s happening.”
Image credits: _queerbigan
In another follow-up video, the TikToker reassured viewers that there won’t be anything exciting unfolding: “There’s not gonna be a lawsuit. I don’t need to get an attorney. They are not gonna get an attorney.”
“It’s really not an exciting situation,” Queerbigan added. A lot of people that are commenting have probably worked at, like, bigger businesses than I have. It’s just really funny because you all are like, ‘Oh, I can’t believe you admitted this on the internet’ … I know what I have disclosed and I know what I haven’t disclosed. If I were to say certain things that I haven’t said then maybe I could be in trouble or whatever, or maybe you would see that, like, the situation is really not as crazy as you all are making it seem.”
And many people are criticizing them for “stealing intellectual property”
But some support them for sticking it to the man