Worker Records His Company Firing Him And Refusing To Pay What They Promised Despite His 'Great Work'

The company went back on promises they'd made.

man at computer looking at his phone ArrN Capture / Unsplash 

Americans spend the majority of their waking hours at work. Our employment and our quality of life are inexorably tied together, which makes the current economic instability feel especially precarious. 

A man working in the tech sector captured how he was essentially gaslit by the CEO of the company he worked for, regarding money he was owed before getting let go.

The worker recorded his company firing him and refusing to pay him the bonus they promised despite his ‘great work.’

He posted a TikTok with the audio recording of his conversation with HR and the start-up’s CEO, commenting, “It took a while for me to feel okay sharing this because it hurt so much, but hopefully it’s cathartic. I worked for over 3 months as Director of Acquisitions, overhauling their website, marketing, community processes, and brand.”


He recorded the Zoom call in which he got fired, noting that he was let go from the company “right after I completed a major project, and weeks after the bonuses were supposed to be already deposited.”



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He also noted that “leading up to the firing, they told us the bonuses were coming but were ‘delayed’ because of finances.”

“I was sold on a compensation package that includes 170%,” he said at the start of the recording. “You stated directly that my performance is not an issue. If you want to let me go for cultural fit, that’s fine, but you’ve also clarified that the bonuses and the reviews are not related to cultural fit, they’re related to performance, which you said are not an issue.”

Worker Records His Company Firing Him And Refusing To Pay What They Promised Photo: Austin Distel / Unsplash 


He remarked on the fact that he’d “created marketing automations that you guys will get to coast on for five months, which makes this feel very exploitative.”

The HR representative replied, “You were paid to do a job, and the job that you did within that three months time has been recognized… It’s not the quality of your work. Your work has been great. And we have paid you for the time that you have been working with the company.”

Despite being told his ‘work has been great,’ the employee was fired and not compensated as the company promised he would be.

The worker reiterated that his issue was with compensation, saying, “It was never told to me until this moment that I was not eligible for the quarterly review last month and not eligible for the bonus… It was told to me that it was delayed… And now it’s been changed, that ‘it was delayed’ to ‘I’m not eligible,’ and that is not fair.”

The HR representative told him, “The cultural issue we have with you is more about [you] not demonstrating the ability to be a leader."


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“A leader is what we agreed to pay for,” she continued. “We do not feel you demonstrated the ability to be a leader... So, we feel that we overpaid for your skills and your services.” 

The worker kept countering her argument, repeatedly confirming that he was told there were “zero issues” with his performance

Worker Records His Company Firing Him And Refusing To Pay What They Promised Photo: Annie Spratt / Unsplash 


“If my performance had no issues, and you told me that the bonuses are tied to performance, then there is something I’m entitled to here,” he said, before noting, “This is extremely dishonest,” at which point, the HR representative ended the call.

While the employee tried to advocate for himself as best he could, he noted how the cyclical nature of the conversation and the way he was fired “eroded his trust in people” for a while. 

Employers demand respect but don't always give it in return.

We give so much to our jobs; we formulate our lives around our work. Yet as this employee’s recording shows, we’re so often not given the same level of respect or consideration from the companies. 


It’s no wonder that this worker felt betrayed, as he was led to believe the company would provide for him in one way, then was told the opposite.

His recording raises the question of how much we owe our employers and clarifies that we should do what we need to, to make sure our needs are being met.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.