In a video posted to her TikTok on Monday, Ciara, @keepcalmvacation, described what it was like to work “at a whack a** company” while living in Florida during hurricane season.
She went on to recall a meeting that she had at work, where her employer said that there would not be any “hurricane pay” and that people have to use their paid time off (PTO) if they don’t come in.
Although she acknowledged that she still has PTO that she can use, she criticised her company for not giving her or her co-workers additional time off and pay, amid the hurricane.
“You’re going to take my PTO because y’all don’t want to pay us hurricane pay?” she asked. “This state is in a national emergency.”
Ciara then said that this experience showed her that she’s working at the “wrong company,” before acknowledging how much she enjoys “working for herself”.
She went on to claim that employers at her type of job doesn’t “care about” their workers, despite how financially successful some companies may be.
“You’re literally just a number to them,” she said. “But you’re a billion-dollar company, and you can’t afford to pay your employees for the one to two days missed because of the hurricane in a national state of emergency?”
As of 28 September, the video has more than 96,2000, with multiple TikTok users agreeing with Ciara’s point and criticising any companies that don’t give employees additional PTO during national disaster.
“Stuff like this influences employees to do the bare minimum. Gotta let people know they’re appreciated and valued!,” one wrote.
Im making good $ + commission but my job will take my PTO because they are too cheap to pay their employees for a hurricane.... Time for me to make a job change. #rant #floridarant #hurricane #tropicalstorm
♬ original sound - Your Travel Plug - Ciara ✈️
“This should be a law in Fl. There should be hurricane pay,” another wrote,
A third person added: “PTO should not be used for things out of your control like natural disasters.”
Other viewers said that they’ve been in a similar situation as Ciara, one of which wrote: “I worked for the state and had to use 10 days of my PTO because THEIR worker exposed me to Covid.”
However, in a follow-up video, Ciara revealed that her company will be giving her a different pay rate when working during Hurricane Ian, which she said that she and her co-workers were “very grateful” for.
She said that even though her and her team was not required to receive hurricane pay, she felt like her company did the “right thing” by offering it to them, before encouraging other businesses to do the same for their employees.
According to the US Department of Labor, the Fair Labor Standards Act “does not require employers, who are unable to provide work to employees due to a natural disaster, to pay non-exempt employees for hours the employees would have otherwise worked”.
Hurricane Ian reached southwest Florida at 3.05pm ET on Wednesday and was marked a Category four storm, due to wind speeds that were up to 155pmh. A total of eight million people were at the centre of the hurricane this morning.
The Independent has reached out to Ciara for comment.