When based in Florida Chetuz hired a telemarketer in the Netherlands, the company demanded that the employee turn on his webcam. The employee was not happy that he was monitored ‘9 hours a day’ in a program that included screen-sharing and streaming from his webcam. When he refused, he was fired, according to public court documents (in Dutch), because what the company declared was ‘refusal to work’ and ‘insubordination’. However, the Dutch judge disagreed, ruling that ‘instructions to leave the webcam on violate the respect for workers’ privacy’. In its judgment, the court even goes so far as to claim that requiring webcam surveillance is a human rights violation.
“I don’t feel comfortable being monitored by a camera 9 hours a day. This is an invasion of my privacy and I feel really uncomfortable. That’s why my camera isn’t on,” the court document quotes the anonymous employee’s statement to Chetu. The employee suggests that the company was already watching him: “You can already track all activities on my laptop and I’m sharing my screen.”
According to court documents, the company’s response to that message was to fire the employee. That might have worked a state of arbitrariness like Chetu’s home state of Florida, but it turns out that labor laws work a little differently in other parts of the world. The employee sued Chetu for unfair dismissal, and the court ruled in his favor, which included paying the employee’s legal costs, back wages, a $50,000 fine and an injunction to suspend the employee’s non-compete clause. lift. The court ruled that the company must pay the employee’s wages, unused vacation days and a number of other costs.
“Monitoring 8 hours a day via camera is disproportionate and not allowed in the Netherlands,” the court ruled in its verdict, further making it clear that this surveillance violates the human rights of the employee, citing the Convention to protection of Human rights and fundamental freedoms; “(…) video surveillance of an employee in the workplace, whether covertly or not, should be regarded as a significant invasion of the privacy of the employee (…), and thus [the court] believes that it constitutes interference within the meaning of Article 8 [Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms].”
Chetu, in turn, was apparently a no-show for the lawsuit.
Through EN Times.