San Francisco, CA | Christmas is a time of joy and celebration. But for a TikTok content moderator, the holiday turned into her worst nightmare: On Christmas eve, she was placed on leave after raising workplace safety concerns in a new lawsuit. On December 23, 2021, The Joseph Saveri Law Firm filed a class action complaint on behalf of Candie Frazier against Byte-Dance, Ltd., Byte-Dance Technology Co. Ltd., and TikTok, Inc. (collectively “Byte-Dance”). Within 24 hours, Ms. Frazier was abruptly and unjustly placed on leave for speaking up, with no clear path forward as to how she can regain her position.
“In retaliation for bringing these important issues to the public, Ms. Frazier was advised on Christmas Eve that she was being placed on leave and had to give up her work equipment. As a result, she can no longer do the job she relies on to support her family. Put yourself in her shoes and imagine the fear and uncertainty she and her family experienced because of this unnecessarily cruel act. TikTok’s behavior—straight out of Dickens’ novel or a modern sweatshop—is wrong, and we call upon TikTok to change course and restore our client to her former position and responsibilities without delay,” said Steven Williams of the Joseph Saveri Law Firm. “By screening social media posts for objectionable content, content moderators are our frontline soldiers in a war against depravity: a war we all have a stake in winning. The psychological trauma and cognitive and social disorders these workers face is serious. But they are being ignored, and the problems will only grow worse—for the company and for these individuals. It’s our hope and goal that Byte-Dance recognizes its obligations to these workers and creates a safer workplace for them.”
This case comes on the heels of the firm’s success in Scola v. Facebook Inc., in which a $52 million settlement and workplace improvements were reached stemming from allegations that Facebook failed to properly protect their content moderators. For more information, please see our TikTok case page.