TikTok Can Strip Workers’ Stock for Bad-Mouthing Company: Report

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Bad-mouthing TikTok could come at a steep cost for current and former staffers.

While the company offers restricted stock units (RSU) to employees — shares in the business as a type of compensation — a provision in a TikTok shareholder agreement states that the shares can be taken away, Fortune reports.

The agreement bans RSU holders from making “critical, adverse, or disparaging” comments about the company, its affiliates, or employees.

If they do, “all of the participant’s restricted share units will be immediately forfeited,” according to Fortune, which obtained a copy of the contract.

TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

One former employee told Fortune he thinks he’s in the company’s crosshairs.

Patrick Spaulding Ryan said TikTok didn’t include him in its latest buyback offer for current and former employees on March 4, Fortune reports.

He believes it’s because he criticized the disparagement clause on LinkedIn, according to Fortune.

There’s growing support for a TikTok ban

It’s a tough time for TikTok. A bill calling for the app to be sold off or shut down is gaining steam. Lawmakers are worried about the security of users’ data — saying the info could be fed back to TikTok’s Chinese owners.

The bill is set to be voted on by the House on Wednesday. If passed, it would move to the Senate — and President Joe Biden has said he’d sign it.

(Donald Trump, for his part, had once tried to ban the app as president but now is backtracking, calling Facebook the real “enemy.”)

In the meantime, TikTok has urged users to call their representatives to contest the bill. But that campaign may have backfired with exasperated lawmakers flooded by calls.