The video of an American Subway employee making sandwiches with a baby strapped to his chest has sparked online debate about working parents.
The TikTok video is set to Reba McIntyre’s “I’m A Survivor” and has been viewed over two million times since it was shared on Saturday (6 November).
The video was posted by Leslie Munoz who, it was later revealed, is the baby’s mother.
Munoz, who is a former Subway employee, said she made a lot of “close” friends while she was working at the quick service restaurant. In a follow-up TikTok video, she clarified that the man in the video is a former co-worker and friend who “adores” her son.
A single mom, Munoz was responding to some users who asked for the man’s GoFundMe because “he deserves help”.
In a statement to the Daily Dot, Munoz explained she asked her friend to hold the baby while she ate, when she stopped by the outlet for a meal.
“[The old co-worker] was so excited and strapped him on,” Munoz said.
“He then proceed to make my sandwich, but as soon as a customer came in he was given back to me.”
There was an outpouring of support for the unnamed Subway employee online, and the TikTok triggered conversations about child support, single working parents, and leave policies.
One comment read: “If I saw this at a local Subway, I would not be bothered. Sometimes childcare falls through.”
“Can we normalise this,” another user asked. “There shouldn’t have to be a choice between taking care of the child and making money to care for the child.”
Reply to @iknowillregretthislater full DV story in my Instagram @lesliemunnoz open to help, in bio 🤍
♬ original sound - ludictunes
It has been reported that Subway does not offer its employees paid maternity leave. However, workers can resume work after taking unpaid leave.
In defence of the man in the video, a TikTok user wrote: “If he gets fired for this I’m fighting everyone at Subway.”
Amid all the positive comments, some users pointed out that the baby wasn’t wearing a hairnet, raising questions over hygiene.
However, Munoz said she was excited the video “started so many conversations” even though that wasn’t her intent.
Munoz, who simply thought it would be “funny” to record her friend for TikTok, explained: “I myself am about to start work and don’t trust/afford a babysitter so it was interesting to see people’s opinions on this topic that I myself did not mean to start up.”