Demanding employees turn on their webcams is a human rights violation, Dutch Court rules

When Florida-based Chetu hired a telemarketer in the Netherlands, the company asked the employee to turn on his webcam. The employee was not happy to be monitored “for 9 hours a day”, in a program that includes screen sharing and his webcam broadcast. When he refused, he was fired, according to general court documents (in Dutch), for what the company stated was “refusal to work” and “disobedience”. However, the Dutch court did not agree, and ruled that “the instructions to keep the webcam turned on are contrary to respect for the privacy of workers. In its ruling, the court went so far as to suggest that the surveillance webcam be requested is a human rights violation.”

The court document quoted the anonymous: “I don’t feel comfortable being monitored for 9 hours a day by a camera. This is a violation of my privacy and makes me feel really uncomfortable. This is why the camera is not turned on.” Employee contact Cheto. The employee notes that the company was already monitoring him, “You can actually monitor all the activities on my laptop and I’m sharing my screen.”

According to court documents, the company’s response to that letter was to fire the employee. That may have worked in a state like Florida, home of Chito’s, but it turns out that labor laws work a little differently in other parts of the world. The employee brought Chito to court for unfair dismissal, and the court ruled in his favour, including payment of the employee’s court costs, late wages, a $50,000 fine, and an order to remove the employee’s non-competition clause. The court ruled that the company needed to pay employee wages, unused vacation days and a number of other costs as well.

“Tracking via camera for 8 hours per day is disproportionate and not permitted in the Netherlands,” the court found in its ruling, and also dismisses the point that such monitoring is inconsistent with the employee’s human rights, citing the Employee Protection Agreement. human rights and fundamental freedoms; “(…) the video surveillance of an employee in the workplace, whether confidential or not, should be considered as a significant intrusion into the employee’s private life (…), and therefore [the court] considered to constitute interference within the meaning of Article 8 [Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms]. “

It appears that Cheto, in turn, did not attend the court case.

via NL Times.