Being wrongfully terminated can be a traumatic experience, but some former employees found a way to turn the tables and get revenge on their former employer.
From exposing illegal practices to getting the entire business shut down, these tales of revenge will make you cheer and wonder if karma actually exists. But they’re also a reminder of the importance of treating employees fairly and following the law.
So sit back, and enjoy these stories of sweet revenge. Maybe they’ll even inspire you to stand up for yourself in the face of injustice.
All content has been edited for clarity.
You Played Yourself
“My boss came in and went a massive rant about something that someone else had done. He fired me, and I went home and started another job almost immediately. Two weeks later phone call:
‘I need the password for the office server.’
I replied: ‘It’s in an envelope in the backup safe.’
Turns out he had thrown out all my paperwork including the server password.
I felt I had been unfairly dismissed, said I was going to go to a tribunal, and had been advised to say nothing to them until it was resolved. Two years of medical research were locked away until my dispute was settled.”
Too Many Skeletons In The Closet
“I was an automotive tech for a few years. The last position I held with that title was at a crappy little locally-owned oil and lube shop. Now after a few years in the industry, I had accumulated quite a knowledge of OSHA AND EPA standards that the automotive industry has in place.
The owner of this business is not a good man. We’re talking big game hunting trips to Africa, only gave charity for tax breaks, and somehow ZERO empathy for people as a whole. His holiday bonuses were 25$ gift cards to his own store.
Now the manager of this particular location happened to be the nephew of the owner. This guy’s favorite line was, ‘(if you don’t do xyz) you can take it to the house (fired).’
I guess he could tell that every employee was turning against him, as we were all one day pulled one by one into the office to have a ‘talk about morale.’ Two of us mechanics were already talking about starting our own small shop, taking our loyal customers with us (they would tell us that whenever we left they would stay with us)
I guess the nephew found out and was none-too-happy about it. The talks were really him just trying to weasel out of anyone if we (myself and mechanic #2) were stealing business from the company (not yet!). The next day we both received a call informing us that we were suspended for two weeks due to the smell of ‘drinks’ on our breath (which there wasn’t). This was their way of not having to pay unemployment.
Immediately I got on the horn with the EPA, informing them that this s.o.b instructed us to dump oil and oil filters, antifreeze, differential fluid, and transmission fluid into the dumpster. Then a call to OSHA to let them know about all the standing oil in the bays, exposed electrical components, and shoddy additions to the building.
I got a text from my friend that still worked there two days ago to let me know OSHA showed up and they had to degrease the entire garage, fix the awnings, and electricians were wrapping up the wires.
A day later found out that the EPA had hit this b*stard with a huge fine.
Two months later all locations were sold off.”
Word Gets Around
“My first job in finance was in private banking at a large Swiss bank in New York. I was laid off after two years, and honestly, I detested my boss. He lied to clients and made promises he never intended to keep. Very unethical.
A couple of years later I was working at a large German bank in New York, also in private banking. I was more senior there, but as I also have a Ph.D. I was accorded a lot more respect by the Germans I worked with, who practically worship doctorates.
We had a client who was a very prominent German family trust, and for some reason never articulated to me the trust needed to place $200 million in custody outside of our bank. We were the trustee. They suggested the Swiss bank that I had previously worked for, and they approached the New York office to discuss the deal. One of my German colleagues remembered that I had worked for this very bank, and as part of their due diligence asked me, knowing what I know about the New York branch, if would I recommend them as custodian for our client. I asked who was the Swiss banker they were speaking to.
You guessed it — my ex-boss.
I simply responded honestly, that he was untrustworthy and unethical, and told them a few instances where I knew for a fact that he had lied to our clients. My German colleague took notes, thanked me for my insights, and went back to the client to report. The next day he told me they intended to partner with an American bank.
Later that day a former Swiss colleague of mine called me ‘to say hello.’ Along the way, he wondered if I had heard about a custody deal between my current bank and my old employer. ‘Sure,’ I told him, ‘I killed it.’
That was followed by about ten seconds of dead silence before my friend burst out laughing. He thanked me for my honesty and noted that this was a good lesson in treating people ethically in business at all times because, in the end, global finance is a very small world.”
Do What You Have To Do
“After the dotcom crash, I got hired by a small software company. They didn’t really have a good product and it was obvious they were on the way down. One day the owner called in with instructions to fire all the salespeople as they weren’t making any sales anyway. Okay, so at the end of the month, he calls to ask how sales were going. I said about as good as can be expected with no salespeople.
A week later, the hammer comes down and we’re all let go and given our severance checks. I immediately go to the bank branch the check was drawn on to cash it and it bounced!
So since I still had the keys to the office, I went back and grabbed a bunch of high-end laptops and took them home. Another week goes by and he calls to ask about these laptops that have gone missing. I said they’re not missing, I’m holding on to them until you make good on the bounced check. I was told that was theft and they would be pressing charges. I said great, I’ll be contacting the Labor Relations Board about your shi*ty practices and also the Police about knowing passing a bad check for thousands of dollars.
Needless to say, I was asked to stop by his office to exchange the laptops for another check. It was like the scene out of Scarface where Tony Montana goes to buy the coke.
Owner: Do you have the laptops?
Me: They’re close by. Do you have my check?
He gave me the check and I went and cashed it and then went back and gave him his laptops.”
They Really Should Have Accounted For That
“I had signature authority on the federal license at the company I worked for since my prior experience had helped them get it. When management asked me to do something I knew was illegal, I refused, which put me in conflict with them.
They shortly ‘laid me off.’
As I left, I called the federal licensing department and told them to take me off the license, as I no longer worked there. The agent then told me, ‘They don’t have anyone else listed on the license, and without me, they were out of business.’ When I told him it was no longer my problem, but I didn’t think they knew or understood their situation, the agent called them. They were shut down before I got out of the parking lot.
It took them 6 months to get their license straightened out and back in operation. They probably lost a million dollars a month. Now THAT’S revenge!”
Always Make Sure The Check Clears
“I don’t remember the year, early 2000’s, I was working for a small game company. They were having trouble and we knew it, but they were upfront about what was going on with sales and stuff, so we weren’t worried. They had missed payroll a couple of times, but always made it up by the next paycheck. We liked the job, believed in the games, and liked our coworkers, so we hung in hoping it would get better.
Until the Monday we showed up and the doors were locked. I don’t know what all happened, but they were in much worse shape than they had let on. I never got my last 2 paychecks, so they owed me something like $8k, which was a lot for me at the time. I called one of the owners and he said, ‘Sorry! The money is gone, they’ve liquidated everything to pay off debts, and there’s nothing left.’
A month goes by, and one day I get a phone call. It was one of the owners asking if I knew what happened to a particular computer. What had happened to it was I had taken it home over the weekend to compile and run some renders (which I did from time to time, they knew about it), and when I showed up Monday I didn’t have a job anymore, so I just put it under my desk and forgot it. But what I told him was, ‘No, I really don’t know where it could’ve gotten off to, but I also don’t know where my last two paychecks are either. Maybe it got liquidated with them? I’ll tell you what, though, if my last two paychecks were to show up and clear the bank, I might be motivated to try to find out what happened to that machine with the entire code base, all the model files, and textures, and all the storyboards on it.’
Three days later I got an envelope from FedEx with a personal check for everything they owed me, and a note saying “The hard drive is sufficient” and an address. I mailed them the drive after the check cleared.”
They Deserved To Lose More Money
“A relative of mine came to Canada and as a newcomer, he started working in a restaurant which paid him in cash. He was making $8/hour when the minimum payment was $14/hour. Since he couldn’t find any better job anywhere other than a factory which is very labor-intensive, he worked there for 2 years before they fired him for no reason.
When they dismissed him from the work, they still owed him nearly 2 months of pay. The restaurant owner started toying with him for months and wouldn’t pay his money. Then I heard about it from him and realized, some of these scam bags taking advantage of newcomers like him who aren’t very much aware of labor laws in Canada. Then I filed a case in the Labor Board and got him payment for 2 years as a regular minimum payment which was around 10k.
After that, in a few months, the restaurant closed down. I heard the restaurant partners had a bad fight over that money since no one wanted to take responsibility for the loss. Also, 2 other workers filed labor disputes against the restaurant as well, so they all got their money. It was a very satisfying moment for me. They very much deserved that fate.”