TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A former Dollar General employee in Tampa said she was fired over her TikTok videos.
Mary Gundel posted several videos about the challenges at her job before the company let her go. She knew she was taking a risk, but she also hoped something would change.
In March, the Dollar General store manager was frustrated and felt unappreciated. She said there wasn’t enough money in the budget to give other employees more hours, leaving her to work alone for long stretches, and she believes working conditions were unsafe.
She got on TikTok and started talking about the challenges. Her videos gained momentum, one reaching 1 million views.
“In the beginning, it was just to bring awareness to our everyday customer that, you know, our stores are messy. Yes, our shelves are empty, yes, but it’s not always the employee’s fault,” Gundel said. “We’re only given so much hours to be able to run our stores, and there’s only so much physically one person can do.”
Her videos have garnered widespread attention, but that’s not all she wants.
Gundel said since she’s posted her videos, other Dollar General employees from all over the country have reached out and shared similar experiences.
“Now it’s about holding Dollar General accountable,” Gundel said. “We want them to change.”
Gundel believes she made the right decision, not just for herself, but for Dollar General employees everywhere.
“We want their employees to actually start making a living wage, and we want their buildings to be safe for all employees,” Gundel said.
Dollar General’s full statement is below:
At Dollar General, we are committed to providing an environment where employees can grow their careers and where they feel valued and heard. We are disappointed any time an employee feels that we have not lived up to these goals, and we use those situations as additional opportunities to listen and learn.
Maintaining two-way, open lines of communication with our employees is a priority. We provide many avenues for our teams to make their voices heard, including our open-door policy and routine engagement surveys. We use this feedback to help us identify and address concerns, improve our workplace, and better serve our employees, customers and communities. Additionally, we continually review store staffing needs to best serve the local communities.
While we do not comment on specific employee matters, we disagree with any assertion that Ms. Gundel’s termination was improper. As discussed with Ms. Gundel prior to her termination, her conduct violated the Company’s policy against releasing confidential or proprietary information.