One of the main characteristics of the covid-19 pandemic was quarantine (a process in which a population is isolated for several days to protect itself from possible contagion).
However, as “more than 500 million cases of people suffered from this disease in the world”, as confirmed by John Hopkins University, the security measures adopted by governments were different from what was initially believed because the lockdown did not it only lasted 40 days, but two years in certain countries.
For this reason, many people were forced to work, educate themselves and contact their closest people virtually with video calls, calls and chats that allowed them to be ‘closer to the outside world’ from the screen of their electronic device. .
(Also read: Telecommuting is strongly installed in working life in the United States).
Working from home means that on many occasions there is no limit between work and personal life. For this reason, in the midst of this situation when meetings have to be held by video call between work or study colleagues, there is the option of turning on or off the camera of the computers or cell phones through which you are connected.
But, what would you do if the company where you work forces you to give them access to your device to check if you are working, you refuse and after the fact they sue you?
This case happened to the employee of an American company based in Florida who was hired by another located in the Netherlands, which I wanted to force him to share the screen during the nine hours of work to verify if he was really doing his job.
As it was uncomfortable for the company employee, he did not hesitate to refuse the idea because he did not agree to be monitored and for this he was fired.
(You can continue reading: ‘The law says that a domestic worker is a normal employee’).
Why were they watching him?
The Noord-Brabant province resident was hired by the Rijswijk branch of Chetu Inc, a software development company based in Miramar, Florida, in 2019. He earned more than 70,000 euros (312 million Colombian pesos) a year. , commission, bonus and vacations, according to the local media ‘NL Times’.
Since August 23 of this year, he has been ordered a virtual training period called the Corrective Action Program, in which he was told that during the period he would have to remain connected throughout the work day with screen sharing and his webcam activated. It was there that the dilemma of his story began. However, three days later he was fired according to the company for “refusal to work” and “insubordination”.
(You can also read: Restaurant sued a client who paid a tip of 3 thousand dollars).
What decision did the justice of your country take in this regard?
The Dutch court ruled that “instructions to keep the webcam on are in conflict with respect for the privacy of workers.” Conceding the reason to the employee, for which he sentenced the company to pay a fine of 75,000 thousand euros (more than 300 million Colombian pesos), plus the duty to transfer the days of salary that he lacked to pay and the vacation days not used.
All this because in that country “monitoring through the camera for so many hours a day is disproportionate and is not allowed”, according to the convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
“Video surveillance of an employee is a significant intrusion into their life. Therefore it is illegal”, the Court ruled.Following the incident, the Rijswijk branch of Chetu Inc. was canceled at the Chamber of Commerce and closed on September 2, records show.
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