Walmart Employee Removing Her Nametag Triggers Debate on Worker Security and Privacy

Walmart Employee Removing Her Nametag Triggers Debate on Worker Security and Privacy
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @ruby_enriquez.vicente

A TikTok user named Ruby Enriquez (@ruby_enriquez.vicente) highlighted concerns over workers' safety as she shared a video, saying, “When customers make me feel weird & uncomfortable,” which indicated that she is concerned about her name being out there. Enriquez echoed a growing concern about the safety of workers who have to wear a nametag at their workplace. 

Image Source: TikTok | @ruby_enriquez.vicente
Image Source: TikTok | @ruby_enriquez.vicente

Also Read: Viral Video Shows Fired Walmart Employee Trashing Store, Stirs Debate on Poor Management

Servers, healthcare workers, and Walmart workers like Enriquez often have to deal with stalking, threats, and improper behavior from disgruntled customers. Several former employees of Walmart agreed to Enriquez's actions citing several reasons.

Fellow workers also expressed instances where they were stalked on social media by customers who read and memorized their name tags. Some said they wore their name tag backward or removed it to escape harassment. One of the viewers said that she avoids using her real name in the ID because customers have made her feel uncomfortable several times.

Image Source: TikTok |
Image Source: TikTok |

Also Read: Here's why Walmart has Agreed to pay $45 Million as Settlement to Customers

While some workers got away by using clever tactics to hide their names, it is not easy for everyone to do so. In Enriquez's video, one worker said that she was yelled at for not wearing her nametag despite facing several uncomfortable situations while working. 

Image Source: TikTok | @ruby_enriquez.vicente
Image Source: TikTok | @ruby_enriquez.vicente

Also Read: Disappointed Customer Shares Cake Decorating Fail from Walmart, Goes Viral

Previously, another TikTok video from a Dollar Tree worker went viral, in which a user named Oliver (@olivermbork) ranted about how customers say his name. Oliver wrote in the caption, “Forced social interactions be melting my brain.”


@olivermbork forced social interactions be melting my brain #fyp ♬ original sound - Oliver Bork

 

“I hate when people know my name, please don’t read it. You already can see me and that is more than I want,” Oliver says in the video. While this may seem like a mild inconvenience for a worker at best and an invasion of privacy at worst, there have been much worse stories, especially from women.

In 2019, Mirror UK reported that shop workers were swapping name tags to avoid the "gross" flirting of customers who harassed and filmed them while at work.

One of the women working in retail in Australia spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald about the scary and horrible treatment they received while working on the shop floor. Nyakim Nyuon, who was 21 years old at the time, shared how she had been filmed without her consent by flirtatious customers. Further, after a customer began stalking one of her colleagues, the Nyuon started swapping name tags with other workers to avoid a similar experience.



 

In the end, they started wearing a tag with a fake name in hopes of deterring such scary things that customers do. The issue has impacted healthcare workers as well who face much greater threats and dangers from patients or family members of patients who are not satisfied with the care provided by the hospital or institution.

In 2019, the SEIU Healthcare Union in Pennsylvania raised the glaring issue by stating a case of a caregiver who was stalked, and harassed online, when her patient’s family members got angry with the ongoing treatment. The union claimed that the worker’s family members were also targeted as the Photo ID of the worker displayed her full name which made it easier to track her online. The release from the union mentioned that stories like this weren’t rare and workers in the healthcare industry are four times more likely to face violence and such inappropriate behavior than in any other industry.

Regarding the increasing concerns of workers in the healthcare industry, Rep. Tim Twardzik (R-Schuylkill) introduced a bill to provide more secure healthcare ID badges that would omit the surnames of workers. The bill was signed into law in 2022. The new law allowed healthcare workers to choose not to have their last names on their badges and instead have the last four digits of their Penn State identification number displayed in front of the badge as a unique identifier.

Lianet Rovira, a registered nurse | Getty Images | Photo by Joe Raedle
Lianet Rovira, a registered nurse | Getty Images | Photo by Joe Raedle

Thus, with similar concerns arising in other industries, there may be a need for an overreaching law that provides security to all nametag workers across the country.

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