Limited Brands Fires Employees For Speaking Out

It seems to be commonplace these days for certain powerful corporations to police their employees, right down to the atomic level. But now, some companies are going too far.

I have worked for Bath and Body Works since fall of last year. It wasn’t the best-paying job, but it was one of the few I’ve had that I’ve enjoyed. That is, I worked there until yesterday afternoon.

Tuesday of this week, I and about half the staff went in for a reset of the floor layout. The assistant manager informed us that at the end of the night we would all have to read and then sign a new agreement that sets policy for social networking sites, such as Twitter, Facebook and many others. I realized that Limited Brands was going to absurd methods to shut up its employees outside of work, something I am firmly against as it is not the business of a corporation to monitor employees’ habits outside of the company.

I immediately twittered this message:

Limited Brands is making us sign an agreement to not twitter or facebook about them. So FUCK YOU LIMITED! Your move.

While this was admittedly waving the red cape in the bull’s face, it wasn’t meant to be entirely serious. But I understand that a lot of people don’t understand sarcasm. Obviously Limited Brands is one of these people. My coworkers who read this message somehow got the humor though.

Several hours after posting this message, I read the guidelines for this new policy and saw that, for the most part, it simply stated that employees shouldn’t give out company secrets and made mention of how much Limited Brands respects the opinions of it’s employees, but wants them to remember that what they say can be read by anyone. Really? I had no idea, Limited.

I signed the agreement because I felt there was nothing too restrictive in the text. Had it said that I was not allowed to mention the company in any capacity other than positive, I would not have signed my name at all.

The following Thursday, I went to work and started my usual routine around the store. Shortly after I arrived, I was called to the back where I found the district manager and my store manager. I assumed that we were going to discuss my interest in becoming a holiday manager for the store, which my store manager had been training me for for about a month.

Instead, I am informed that I was to be terminated immediately because I had 3 policy violations against me. That’s it. No formal write-up. No discussion with management. Nothing. She even produced a packet containing the “tweet.” I informed her that what I said had been written before any such agreement was signed and that I was not in violation of anything, unless the agreement applied retroactively. Which it does not.

She then said that I had still violated 2 other policies, which were supposedly named in the termination papers. She could NOT give me a clear description of these policy violations, nor does the termination packet make any specific mention of them.

So the first, and only, time that I say anything negative about the company, and not in a serious manner, I am fired for several supposed violations of policy. This is appalling. Employees should not be so severely monitored by their places of work in such a way and the fact that this kind of corporate behavior occurs is sickening. It seems to me that Limited Brands is resorting to tactics used by corporations such as Walmart, who do their best to keep their employees silent on all matters concerning their deplorable practices.

How long can we sit by and allow the companies we work for to control our every word not just inside, but outside of company walls? It is a complete destruction of our right to free speech. I, for one, am not going to just sit here and take it. I’m going to do everything in my power to find some course of legal action against Limited Brands and their unconstitutional business practices and I urge others to do the same, not just against Limited, but other companies as well who also adopt these policies that attempt to keep their workers under lock and key.

This CANNOT continue.


4 thoughts on “Limited Brands Fires Employees For Speaking Out

  1. i totally just got fired for this shit on monday. i knew i violated the social media guidelines, but i was given a warning. then my manager went back to facebook posts i made PRIOR TO my warning, and fired me after the semi-annual sale and a huge wall move was over.

    limited brands can fucking suck it.

  2. I just quit Limited Brands DC5 receiving building this week after 5+ years of watching the “benefits” dwindle down to nothing.
    I got a pay raise for highlift crane in the new DC5 had it for over 4 months. and then had the pay taken away becuase I was not over there on the cranes every day. I understand that. but they do not take crane pay away form the guys over there in reserve for the days they are NOT on the cranes.
    So I quit. Limited Brands and all companies attached to them can kiss my hard working ass goodbye.

  3. I was trained to be a manager for a LB store, top talent, scored high on my review, and was regarded to my peer’s as a positive role model for associates in our store. I was terminated today without any warning. This was a shock because I have never been written up, or even given a warning or sit down conversation in my store. I was terminated for the same clause, over a misunderstanding on twitter. I had so much pride in my job, and my customers knew me for my compassion and love for the brand.
    I actually did not know about the social media clause, they did not say anything about it during on-boarding, if they would have expressed this to me, I wouldn’t have even added associates on social media.
    I will never shop or support this brand ever again. I put so much into this company, only for them to just throw me away.

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