This year, while you were busy creating your own version of the Cronut, wondering what the Fox says, feuding with Sinead O’Connor, playing Candy Crush, documenting your Thanksgivukkah on Instagram, prancercising those pounds away or Googling Nelson Mandela, here’s what you may have missed…
Take a look at 13 of the most memorable workplace stories that happened in 2013.
13 of the Most Unforgettable Workplace Stories from 2013
- Employee’s epic “I quit” video goes viral. In the wee hours of a September morning, fed up writer Marina Shifrin quit her job in style: by uploading of her dancing to Kanye West’s “Gone” while subtitles explain why she’s quitting. The video went viral, resulting in a response from her former employer and a new job offer for Shifrin.
- Federal employees forced to stay home. This year’s government shutdown meant nearly 500,000 federal employees had to leave their jobs without pay. Though the shutdown only lasted a few weeks, the effects on employee morale could have far-reaching consequences.
- Weather Channel interns (almost) get blown away. To stir up buzz for “Tornado Week,” the Weather Channel live-streamed video of its interns trying to work in the middle of a simulated tornado that grew stronger with every public mention of #TornadoWeek on Twitter.
- Tweets lead to high-profile firings. “Fired over Twitter” stories are nothing new, but two cringe-worthy stories this year gained national attention. In October, a senior White House official was fired for tweeting two years worth of abrasive and offensive comments using the Twitter handle @NatSecWonk. Then, mere days ago, a PR executive was fired shortly after tweeting an offensive “joke” about AIDS.
- Yahoo! stops offering remote work options. In February, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer put the kibosh on work-from-home options for employees, saying, “To become the absolute best place to work…it is critical that we are all present in our offices.”
- Employees die from sleep deprivation. In August, a Bank of America intern died after working several long days and nights in his position. And just this month, a young copywriter collapsed and died after a 30-plus hour shift at her job.
- Recruiter’s awkward/adorable voicemail goes viral. After leaving a potential candidate a message to call her back, a recruiter forgot to turn her phone off and inadvertently left a much longer voicemail – complete with talking in a baby voice and serenading what seems to be a pet.
- McDonald’s sample budget for employees draws criticism. Earlier this year, in effort to give its workers financial guidance, McDonald’s gave them a sample budget advising them to, among other things, set aside $20 for health insurance each month. Many criticized the budget, saying it underscored the near-impossibility of trying to live off minimum wage.
- Judge backs casino’s right to fire overweight waitresses. In July, an Atlantic City judge ruled in favor of a local casino’s right to fire its cocktail waitresses if they put on 7 percent more than their initial weight when hired. The judge told the 22 waitresses who were suing their former employers they “knew what they were getting into,” citing the agreements they signed when they were hired.
- Interns bring class action lawsuit to NBCUniversal: In July, a group of former ‘SNL’ and MSNBC interns brought a $5 million class action lawsuit against NBCUniversal for denying them “the benefits that the law affords to employees, including unemployment, workers’ compensation insurance, social security contributions, and, most crucially, the right to earn a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work.” according to the complaint.
- Detroit declares bankruptcy. As of earlier this month, Detroit will become the largest city in U.S. history to declare bankruptcy. Several months after the city filed for bankruptcy in July, a judge recently ruled that the city meets the legal criteria to win protection from its creditors.
- Florida restaurant employees get fired via text. Just in time for the Fourth of July holiday, 14 employees for a Florida-based Italian restaurant got news they were fired when their boss, the restaurant’s owner, sent the following text message, “Thx 4 all ur help, but ur fired.” WTF?
- Drug use in the workplace drops. In November, diagnostics firm Quest Diagnostics released the results of a study or more than 125 million workplace drug urine tests. The results show that drug use among American workers has dropped by 74 percent in the last 25 years.
Forget what you think you know about HR... it's all about to change.
Sign up to start getting exclusive content designed to empower you with the insight necessary to go from HR professional to strategic business partner.