Tag Archives: court cases

Fired Remote Worker Awarded €75,000 in Court

A remote employee of a U.S. business who was fired for refusing to leave his webcam on while he was working was awarded roughly 75,000 euros by a Dutch court for wrongful termination. The resident of Diessen, Noord-Brabant, was hired by the Rijswijk branch of Chetu Inc., a software development company headquartered in Miramar, Florida, NL Times reported.

The employee began working for Chetu in January 2019, and said he was earning over 70,000 euros per year in salary, commission, variable bonus, and holiday allowance. He worked for the American firm for over a year and a half, but on 23 August, he was ordered to take part in a virtual training period called a “Corrective Action Program.” He was told that during the period he would have to remain logged in for the entire workday with screen-sharing turned on and his webcam activated.

The telemarketing worker replied back two days later, “I don’t feel comfortable being monitored for 9 hours a day by a camera. This is an invasion of my privacy and makes me feel really uncomfortable. That’s the reason why my camera isn’t on. You can already monitor all activities on my laptop and I am sharing my screen.” He was summarily fired on 26 August, for “refusal to work” and “insubordination”.

The fired worker brought the case to the Zealand-West Brabant court in Tilburg. The court agreed the termination was not legally valid. The court ordered Chetu Inc. to pay the man over 2,700 euros in unpaid salary, 8,375 euros for wrongful termination, 9,500 euros in worker transition assistance, and 50,000 euros in additional compensation. On top of that, the company has to pay the worker for 23 vacation days that were not taken, the 8 percent statutory holiday allowance, and possibly an additional penalty for failure to provide a payslip for August. Chetu also has to cover about 585 euros for court filing costs and the plaintiff’s legal fees.

TechCrunch reported that firing the worker might have worked in an at-will state such as Chetu’s home state Florida, but it turns out that labor laws work a little differently in other parts of the world. According to TechCrunch, Chetu was “apparently a no-show for the court case”.

Personally, I agree with the court’s decision. It seems entirely irrational to expect a worker to be on camera for 9 hours a day. Many remote workers are doing their jobs from their own homes, and it would be incredibly invasive to have to “stream” yourself for 9 hours straight to appease your bosses.

In addition, I’d like to see federal legislation passed that would make it illegal for companies to abuse their remote workers by forcing them to be on camera for an entire workday. It makes sense to be on camera with other coworkers for a short meeting. But, being on camera for an entire workday makes absolutely no sense.

How to fight The RIAA

It seems like the RIAA is unstoppable in its crusade to sue music lovers into oblivion. They are using the courts to get their way with ridiculous judgments being handed out. A single illegal downloaded song can cost a person thousands. The RIAA really does not want to go to trial; they hope to scare people into paying up when threatened with a lawsuit. Most people will just pay up to avoid the extra hassle of facing a trial. I am not advocating stealing music because I believe it is stealing when you take something without paying. However the music industry (not all artists… look what Radiohead did) is being bull headed instead of changing with the times. And these judgments are not punishment that fits the “crime” There is no way that a few songs should cost as much as they do in penalties. The question is what can we do to destroy the RIAA.

I don’t think trying to pass any laws will help because the lobbyists are more incentivized than voters. They make money to get laws passed or to prevent laws from being enacted. Voters are just regular people with jobs & real lives. We don’t have time to know every single detail of what to vote on and when to do so. It is a very difficult thing to make changes through the voting booth. Tough but not impossible I know. Maybe a better way is to wreck the chances of any jury awarding outrageous cash to the RIAA & other such scum based groups. One way to do that is FIJA (Fully Informed Jury Association). Basically the Constitution set up the average person to be the final branch of government. We the People are the final road block to oppressive government. If lawmakers pass bad laws which are ruled on by corrupt judges then the jury becomes 12 super powerful humans that can do good. FIJA looks to educate Americans on a jury’s role in trials. Now this not mainstream stuff & judges will actually throw people off juries if they are found to be members of FIJA. So it is not going to be something that the powers that be will endorse, but the Constitution is supposed to be the highest law in the land. The concept is that a juror can not only find a defendant not guilty based on the evidence but also based on the fact that the law is BAD. The jury is in control. No really, they are. No matter what the judge tells them to ignore or base their findings on, they have the final say. So if I were on a jury and I knew I could prevent a real injustice from happening I would think it was my duty to do the right thing. If the word could be spread about FIJA then juries everywhere could be used to do away with bad judgments like what the RIAA goes after. This is a big task I know but I see no other way because the RIAA will not stop until someone stops them over & over again.