Remote Worker Fired for ‘Low Keystroke Activity’
While the debate over productivity in a remote office setting continues, one Australian woman is fighting back against her employer after being accused of not typing enough while working remotely.
In a new claim filed with Australia’s Fair Work Commission, Suzie Cheikho says she was wrongfully terminated after 18 years with Insurance Australia Group, claiming they had a “premeditated plan” to remove her from the company.
However, her employer is fighting back, claiming that a review found that she had “low keystroke activity on her laptop, which indicated that she was not performing work as required” and noted that Cheikho’s “failure to attend to her duties put additional pressure on her work colleagues” that created a “health and safety risk for those employees because they were taking on additional work.”
The review also found that Cheikho began work late on 47 days, finished early on 29 days, and didn’t do any work for four days out of a 49 work day period.
Cheikho, meanwhile, is claiming that her employers were aware of the mental health issues she was experiencing and didn’t step in to offer assistance.
“I was going through some personal and mental health issues. I was reprimanded for my work, instead of my company meeting their duty of care and helping me,” she told local outlet 7 News. “I was basically targeted because of my mental health and the things that I was going through. I feel like it was a premeditated attack to actually get me out of the company.”
According to Lawpath, it is legal to monitor employees who work from home in Australia, and there is “no absolute right to privacy” in place on the continent.
Cheikho’s request was dismissed, as the judge ruled her termination “not harsh, unjust or unreasonable.”
However, Cheikho is still holding strong.
“I held a job for 18 years,” she said. “I was a hard worker, and I know I was a loyal worker.”
It’s unclear whether or not she will try to petition again.