An Austin man says he was fired over Slack after a confrontation with his manager about remote work
- Chad Hampton said he was fired over Slack after telling his manager he was working from home.
- Hampton said working from home was normal, and that out of 15 employees, five worked in the office.
A man in Austin, Texas, said he was fired over Slack after a confrontation with his boss over a decision to work remotely.
"It was pretty common for employees to do spontaneous things. Like, nobody ever asked to have to go to the doctor or, like, work from home," said Chad Hampton, 29.
Hampton, who opened up about his termination in a TikTok, which has amassed over 200,000 views, said he was fired from his administrative position as a marketing associate after telling his manager before work that he was working from home that day to focus on his duties.
Hampton said his manager "got upset" with the way he spoke to her after saying he was working from home on July 29.
Hampton said many of the employees at the company worked remotely.
"There's maybe 15 employees altogether, mostly remote. On an average day, there's maybe five people in the office," he said.
Hampton sent his manager a message on Slack at 8:14 a.m., saying he was going to work from home to focus on his task of making calls without distractions from the office, screenshots reviewed by Insider showed. His manager responded about an hour later in apparent confusion.
"What's going on? Why aren't you here?" the manager replied on Slack.
Hampton replied that he could get through his work if he didn't have distractions.
When asked what was distracting in the office, Hampton replied, "Do you have an issue with me working from home today?"
The manager, the Slack messages showed, said she didn't have an issue with Hampton working from home if he "didn't feel the best," but that remote work on account of supposed distractions was "another topic."
Hampton said he was under the impression that employees were allowed to work remotely so long as the work was done. He said he attempted to call his manager to clarify the issue, but that his calls went unanswered as his manager messaged him on Slack.
In his last message, Hampton responded that he would continue to work from home, which is about 30 minutes from the office, and offered to have a conversation a few days later in person.
He added that the impression he got from his manager and the company's leadership during the four months he'd worked there was this: "I don't care if you work from home as long as the work is done, but it's primarily done on site."
"If there needs to be a reassessment of what has been said to me since starting then it can happen in person on Monday. Otherwise unless the quality of my work is lackluster I don't see the problem," Hampton wrote.
After completing the work calls he set out to make from home, Hampton said, he received a Slack message at about 11 a.m. from the company's owner that said he was terminated, and that he showed "tremendous disrespect" to his manager.
Hampton said he immediately attempted to call his manager and the owner to clarify that his intentions were not to be disrespectful, but he couldn't reach them.
A few hours later, Hampton said, the owner called him back and said she didn't mean to ignore his calls.
Hampton told Insider that during his call with the owner, he attempted to clarify that his intentions were not to disrespect his manager over Slack. She told him his job was terminated, Hampton said.
At 1 p.m., he went into the office to gather his belongings, he said.
Hampton, who said he'd never been fired before, was embarrassed. He called his mom after picking up his personal items to tell her what had happened. He said she reassured him that the company's response was "a bit much."
"The next day is when I made the TikTok, because I was just like, 'Man, getting fired on Slack is the cheapest, weakest way you could fire somebody.' I sat there in your office, supporting you for months," Hampton said.
Since the start of the pandemic, workers and employers have debated whether working from home is just as effective as working in person. While many remote workers argue that working from home is just as effective as being in an office, companies, such as Amazon and Google, are trying to bring workers back.
Recent data from Pew Research indicated that 59% of US workers who said their jobs could mainly be done from home were working from home all or most of the time. But in a recent report from Microsoft, 50% of leaders said they either required or would require employees to work in person in the coming year.
Leaders of large companies, such as Tesla's Elon Musk, have been vocal about having their workers return to the office. But experts have said that remote work during the pandemic didn't damage worker productivity.
Despite being out of a job, Hampton said he was relieved to no longer work for his previous company.
"After I thought about it more, like, I'm cool with it because, obviously, I don't wanna be around people that can't have, one, a conversation over the phone and, two, fire people on Slack," Hampton said.
In response to the incident surrounding his termination, Hampton designed merchandise inspired by his experience, including T-shirts that read "tremendously disrespectful" and "I said, cut me some slack, not fire me on slack."
"I just started getting creative," he said. "I started working on my little portfolio and just kind of reclaiming all the nasty things that were said to me."
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