Demanding employees turn on their webcams is a human rights violation, Dutch Court rules • TechCrunch
When based in Florida Chetu hired a telemarketer in the Netherlands, the company asked the employee to turn on his webcam. The employee was not satisfied with being monitored “9 hours a day” during a program that included screen sharing and streaming his webcam. When he refused, he was fired, according to public court documents (in Dutch), for what the company claims are ‘refuses to work’ and ‘uncoordinated.’ However, the Dutch court disagreed and ruled that “instructions to turn on the webcam are inconsistent with respecting the privacy of workers”. In its ruling, the court went so far as to argue that requiring webcam surveillance is a violation of human rights.
“I don’t feel comfortable being monitored by cameras for nine hours a day. This is an invasion of my privacy and makes me feel really uncomfortable. That’s why my camera isn’t turned on,” the court document cited an unnamed employee’s contact information with Chetu. The employee suggested that the company tracked him, “You can already track all the activity 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 in a state of will As Hometown of Chetu State Florida, but it turns out that labor laws work a little differently in other parts of the world. The employee took Chetu to court for unfair dismissal, and the court favored him, including the payment of the employee’s court costs, pay back wages, a $50,000 fine, and a removal order. employee non-compete terms. The court ruled that the company needed to pay employees’ salaries, unused vacation days and some other expenses.
“Camera surveillance for 8 hours a day is disproportionate and not allowed in the Netherlands,” the court ruled in its judgment, further emphasizing that this surveillance is against the human rights of employees. , quoted from the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; “(…) Employee surveillance video in the workplace, whether confidential or not, should be considered a substantial intrusion into an employee’s privacy (…), and therefore [the court] argues that it constitutes an intervention within the meaning of Article 8 [Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms]. “
In turn, Chetu appeared to be absent from the trial.
Through the NL Times.