TikTok reportedly forces employees to work 12 hour days, six days a week

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A former senior-level worker at TikTok claimed that managers made employees work 12-hour days six days a week.

Pabel Martinez, who had earned $220,000 a year at the wildly popular video-sharing app, claimed that managers at TikTok would frequently ask employees to hop on meetings during weekends in addition to working after hours, according to Business Insider.

Martinez, who said he previously had worked for three years at Facebook’s parent company Meta, said he quit earlier this year after joining the Chinese-owned company last February, according to the report.

“I do think that the culture of working too much or not having as much of the work-life balance does permeate throughout the organization, and it is often encouraged you work ‘after hours’,” he told Insider. “The 996 policy’s infamous.”

The numbers “996” refer to business practices in China, where workers are expected to start at 9 a.m. and end at 9 p.m. six days per week.

Late last year, TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, scaled back working hours, telling employees they were expected to clock in at 10 a.m. and finish at 7 p.m. The work week would be limited to Monday to Friday.

Nevertheless, employees reported that they were still required to log in to meetings at odd hours because of the time difference between the company’s US-based operations and its headquarters in Beijing.

Pabel Martinez said that TikTok forces employees to attend meetings on weekends.
Pabel Martinez said that TikTok forces employees to attend meetings on weekends.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

Martinez said that when he objected to being forced to attend meetings on Saturdays and Sundays, he was told: “That’s not how we do business here.”

He said that he was also reprimanded when he publicly shared his $220,000 annual wage on LinkedIn as part of “Latina Equal Pay Day.”

Martinez said that he felt pressured from stringent, bi-monthly revenue and growth targets as well as 360-degree performance reviews.

“I was made to feel like I was never doing enough,” Martinez told Insider. “At TikTok, no conversation started with ‘How are you?’ It was like, ‘How’s the revenue? What are we doing to drive more growth?’”

Martinez said that TikTok has adopted the '996' culture of working 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week.
Martinez said that TikTok has adopted the ‘996’ culture of working 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

TikTok didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post.

TikTok told Insider that it sought to cultivate a “culture of transparency and feedback” through surveys handed out to employees. The company also said that because it was a global company it needed to coordinate meetings across various time zones.

TikTok said it was working to hire more localized personnel who could function more autonomously and thus negate the need for meetings at odd hours.

The firm also said that it offered generous parental leave and that it had instituted a policy of no meetings during hours on certain days.

“Our focus is on building and fostering a team which is empowered to support our growing global community,” a TikTok spokesperson told Insider.

“We encourage a culture of transparency and feedback, and remain committed to building an equitable platform and business that allows both our community and employees to thrive.”

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