This Company Has Been Ordered To Pay $73k To An Employee Fired For Refusing To Keep His Webcam On All Day

In a bizarre occurrence, a company based in Florida forced its remote worker who works from the Netherlands to keep his webcam on for an entire day as there was a virtual training program going on. The employee, however, negated this order and didn’t comply with the demand. Moreover, the employee filed a lawsuit when he was terminated from the company for this very reason, and as a result, the court ordered the company to pay $73,000 in compensation to the employee. The software company “Chetu” asked the employee on August 23rd to keep his webcam on and is now bearing the consequences.

Coupled with this, as reported by the NL Times, the employee said, “I didn’t feel comfortable being monitored for 9 hours a day by a camera.” Furthermore, the employee said to the company, “This is an invasion of my privacy and makes me feel really uncomfortable. That’s the reason why my camera isn’t on.” Similarly, the employee said that he was already being monitored by the company on his daily tasks and was also sharing the screen with the company to let them know of everything he was doing on the computer. He said that this could be sufficient for the company to keep track of his work but the demand to keep his camera turned on for an entire day wasn’t possible.

However, the employee’s identity has not been revealed in this case, and on the refusal of this demand, the company fired the employee on 26th August with the reasons labeled as “refusal to work” and “insubordination”, as per the documents of the court. The employee filed a lawsuit in the Netherlands where he has been located and said that this is not an “urgent reason to justify the immediate dismissal given”. Furthermore, he said that this is a direct invasion of his privacy and he has a right to completely refuse such type of demands.

To that end, the court issued a statement that stated, “The employer has not made it clear enough about the reasons for the dismissal. Moreover, there has been no evidence of a refusal to work, nor has there been any reasonable instruction.” As per the court, the generated request by the company was not “legally valid” which holds the employee in a defending position. In addition to this, the court issued a statement according to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The article says, “Strict conditions are attached to observing employees.”

Not to mention, the article further elucidates, “that video surveillance of an employee in the workplace, be it covert or not, must be considered as a considerable intrusion into the employee’s private life.” And this was passed in a ruling on the case back in 2017. Hence, the software company is now in hot waters as it has to pay “50,000 euros, or about $48,500, in fair compensation, 2,700 euros in unpaid salary, 8,373.13 euros for wrongful termination, and his unpaid holiday allowance”, as dictated by the Court. Let’s see how well the case proceeds.

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