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- Employees at LGBTQ+ dating site Grindr are being asked to return in person.
- The company gave employees two weeks to indicate if they could move by October.
- The company’s employees say Grindr could be retaliating against them for trying to form a union.
Management at the popular LGBTQ+ dating app Grindr is asking workers to return to the office or lose their jobs, prompting outrage from employees who say the move will upend their lives.
According to a form sent to workers at Grindr on August 4 obtained by Vice’s Motherboard, workers would need to confirm by August 17 whether or not they would move within 50 miles of Grindr’s three offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, or the San Francisco Bay area or lose their jobs at the end of the month.
The news comes two weeks after employees announced their effort to unionize under the Communications Workers of America, Grindr United. Grindr United posted Sunday that the pivot to in-person work by the company is a “bizarre coincidence.”
“Just as a by-the-way, it’s now August 9th and @grindr management STILL has not addressed our union at all, in any way, other than telling us we have to move from our homes to keep our jobs,” the union account wrote in another post.
July 20: we tell management that we have organized ourselves and request voluntary recognition.
July 20 – Aug 3: no contact from management. At all. None. Zero.
Aug 4: management announces we have two weeks to decide whether to uproot our lives or we’re fired.
— Grindr United ✊ (@GrindrUnited) August 5, 2023
Grindr CEO George Arison told staff that the decision was “many months” in the making, per a memo obtained by Bloomberg.
In a statement to Insider, a company spokesperson said the company began “the process of transitioning away from ‘remote-first’ to hybrid” in April and that employees were informed of a future switch to hybrid work during an all-hands meeting in June — before the unionization effort was announced.
However, employees told The New York Times that the company told them to expect the transition after one or two quarters.
The company spokesperson also said that the decision to move to a hybrid work model has “nothing to do with the NLRB election petition” and said, “We respect and support our team members’ rights to make their own decision about union representation.”
Grindr United did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent over the weekend.
Grindr is just one of the latest companies to urge employees to return to the office. Amazon, Apple, Disney, Google, Meta, the company formerly known as Twitter, and dozens of other businesses are asking their white-collar workers to work in the office at least part of the time.
However, the option is unpopular among many workers, who say they would take a pay cut over an in-person job. According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, employers forcing a return to in-person work are seeing slower hiring rates.
Quinn McGee, an employee organizer at Grindr United CWA, told Vice the demands sent by Grindr, who McGee said refused to meet with employees about the union drive, were “dehumanizing.”
“To tell me that I have two weeks to decide whether or not to uproot my family’s life for a job that won’t come to the table and speak with me as an adult — it’s dehumanizing,” McGee told the publication.