Following the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a number of US industries that have found themselves in a bit of an employment pickle: keeping businesses staffed is becoming increasingly difficult for particular lines of work. While there seems to be a growing number of folks across the board who have voiced displeasure with their jobs in general and have walked out the door as part of the "great resignation," data shows that some lines of work have been harder by this phenomenon than others.
Namely, the food service industry, especially in fast and fast-casual chains, have struggled to maintain an adequate number of staff members to ensure that operations are running smoothly. This has led to increased wait times for customers and overworked employees as a result.
While there have been some signs of improvement in this regard throughout 2022, there are still a number of workers who have vocally protested the amount of tasks they've being forced to complete in a single day, with many of them taking to social media to express their displeasure, even uploading footage of them quitting live as a result. Like TikToker @kellymariamm, a 17-year-old Dunkin' Donuts employee who walked out on her job.
In her video, Kelly states that as a minor she was forced to close the store by herself and said that the specific location she was working at violated numerous labor laws.
She writes in a caption for the now-viral clip: "For some more context.. I was completely by myself at Dunkin NEAR A HIGHWAY because the owners didn't make the schedule correctly and no closers showed up and the girl that was working before had been working for 10 hours straight with no break and had to leave at 5:30 when she was supposed to get off at 4..."
Kelly finished off her caption with, "...and we kept letting the owners and manager know, but nothing was being done so I locked myself in the store and told them this is my last day and when the owner finally showed up all she cared about was me unlocking the doors."
She says in the video, fighting back tears, "So, I just quit my job, I'm finally free. Um, I'm literally seventeen years old and I'm stuck in the Dunkin' by myself and this is just the ending of bulls**t that's happened at this store."
Several TikTokers applauded the young woman for walking out on the job and refusing to work for owners who expected a minor to oversee a location by themselves.
Many others shared their own negative experiences in working for Dunkin' Donuts, while some questioned Kelly's managers for not taking it upon themselves to ensure that the location was properly staffed instead of putting the onus of its operations on a teenager.
Other TikTokers urged employees to outright refuse to work shifts for other folks who refuse to come to work, stating that the responsibility rests on the manager's shoulders, not those of an employee who wasn't scheduled to work in the first place.
In the comments section of the TikTok, Kelly tagged Dunkin' Donuts TikTok account asking: "do labor laws not exist?" Depending on the state a minor works in, they may require written parental consent in order to work past a certain time or close a store by themselves. As of this writing, Dunkin' hasn't responded to Kelly's comments on TikTok.