A South Carolina Waffle House employee who was filmed holding a baby while working overnight in the restaurant’s kitchen says she was suspended from her job after the video went viral.
But Tiffany Clark, who has four children of her own, insisted she had no choice but to watch her young niece at work that night, since there was no one else who could care for the four-month-old girl.
Clark told TMZ that her brother, the baby’s father, had recently died, and the baby’s mother was hospitalized that night — leaving the family in a desperate situation.
She added that after the video hit TikTok — where some commenters condemned her for having the child in an unsafe environment — she received a one-week suspension from her job, but expects to still be employed there once the period is over.
On camera: A South Carolina Waffle House employee was filmed holding a baby while working overnight in the restaurant’s kitchen
Tiffany Clark, who has four children, insisted she had no choice but to watch her young niece since there was no one else who could care for the four-month-old girl
TikTok user @kizzle260 shared the clip of Clark last weekend, and the video quickly racked up over four million views.
‘Ain’t know why she got her baby in here smh,’ the TikToker wrote.
While some other commenters shamed her as well, those remarks were quickly buried by a wave of support from men and women who were impressed with her multitasking — and noted that she was clearly in a tough position and doing her best.
‘Hella extra respect for her,’ wrote one. ‘U never know somebody’s situation.’
‘Not everyone can afford child care and can’t afford not to work. Welcome to America,’ wrote another.
‘Only think I see wrong is the person who posted this and shaming a mother. You don’t know her situation. I see a STRONG QUEEN!!!’ said one more.
Tough spot: Clark told TMZ that her brother, the baby’s father, had recently died, and the baby’s mother was hospitalized that night — leaving the family in a desperate situation
On hold: After the video went viral, she said she received a one-week suspension from work
Clark soon commented herself, writing that she was taking care of her niece Octavia during her shift.
‘It was either I take her or [the Department of Social Services] was, so she was brought to me [at] 2:30 a.m. and I was already at work so I had no choice,’ she wrote.
Speaking to TMZ, she explained that Octavia’s father had recently died, and Octavia’s grandmother had called her asking for help that night after Octavia’s mother was about to be hospitalized for mental illness.
There was no one else to watch the baby, so Clark took her out of necessity and had her for the last hour of her shift.
‘I had no choice,’ she wrote on TikTok. ‘She is the only child of my deceased brother and I wouldn’t lose her in the system.’
She also noted that she wasn’t actually cooking while holding Octavia, and had only been behind the counter with her briefly while marking plates for servers — but that was what was caught on video.
‘I had no choice,’ she wrote on TikTok. ‘She is the only child of my deceased brother and I wouldn’t lose her in the system’
After the clip went viral, Clark said her boss gave her a one-week suspension, and she hasn’t heard back since.
She expects to still have a job, though, and plans to become Octavia’s legal guardian.
On TikTok, commenters have flooded her with support.
‘Girl you did what you had to do!! Bless you for taking that baby,’ wrote one, while another added: ‘Respect to this girl. Whoever recorded this should be ashamed.’
Others have offered to send her money to help on CashApp, while several more have asked if they could send her supplies for the baby.