Two Netflix employees who were critical of Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy, The Closer, have filed charges with the National Employment Relations Committee, claiming the streamer took revenge on them for protected coordinated activities.
A complaint filed Wednesday on behalf of senior software engineer Terra Field and former product manager B. Pagels-Minor states that Netflix took action against employees to “stifle [them] from talking about working conditions, including, but not limited to, working to create a safe and affirmative work environment for Netflix employees, talking about Netflix products and the impact of their product choices on the LGBTQ + community, and providing support to employees who are considered illegal by Netflix and in a different way. “
“We recognize the pain and the pain we have caused our trans colleagues over the last few weeks,” a Netflix spokesman told the Times. “However, we want to make it clear that Netflix did not take action against employees because they spoke up or left.”
Documents obtained by The Times on Friday include the names of Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, who was on the center of controversy because of his comments advocating specificity, as a representative of the employer.
Field, a trans employee of Netflix, publicly criticized Netflix’s decision to release The Closer, which included more transphobic comments. It was later installed administrative leave for the collapse of the Netflix business meeting, he said it is aimed at directors and vice presidents. According to the NLRB’s complaint, this was “a meeting to which she was specifically invited along with hundreds of other Netflix employees.” After public outrage, she was returned to work.
Amid a response to “The Closer” and Netflix’s handling of the situation, Pagels-Minor – a pregnant, black non-binary person – announced that he was organizing departure of employees. They were discontinued shortly after publication, allegedly for the purpose of disclosing confidential information to Bloomberg. They have denied this accusation.
According to Pagels-Minor, the role is intended to “move the conversation about employee rights, which is something that helps everyone.”
“This accusation is not just about B. and Terro and not about Dave. It’s about trying to change culture and influence others, ”added attorney Laurie Burgess, who represents Field and Pagels-Minor. “The accusation relates to collective action. It’s about supporting your co-workers and advocating for the things that matter to you. “
According to the NLRB, employees have the right to participate in certain campaigns without fear of retaliation from employers. These protected coordinated activities include a coordinated refusal to work in hazardous situations and talking to the media about problems in the workplace. Such protections work regardless of whether they are union employees.