An American sales executive is suing for wrongful termination after she was fired from her job for uninstalling an app that let her employer track her location 24 hours a day, even while she was off-duty.
Myrna Arias, who according to her lawsuit worked for money transfer company Intermex for three months until she was fired in May 2014, had been required to download Xora, a workplace management app, as part of her employment.
The app allows an employer to monitor workers who aren’t in the office, and advertises its ability to “see the location of every mobile worker on a Google Map” to show “where they have been, the route they have driven and where they are now”.
The lawsuit alleges that: “After researching the app and speaking with a trainer from Xora, Plaintiff and her co-workers asked whether Intermex would be monitoring their movements while off-duty. [Arias boss, John] Stubits admitted that employees would be monitored while off duty, and bragged that he knew how fast she was driving at specific moments ever since she had installed the app on her phone.
“Plaintiff expressed that she had no problem with the app’s GPS function during work hours, but she objected to the monitoring of her location during non-work hours and complained to Stubits that this was an invasion of her privacy. She likened the app to a prisoner’s ankle bracelet and informed Stubits that his actions were illegal. Stubits replied that she should tolerate the illegal intrusion.
“He confirmed that she was required to keep her phone’s power on ‘24/7’ to answer phone calls from clients. Stubits scolded Plaintiff when she de-installed the app in late April 2014 in order to protect her privacy.”
The lawsuit seeks damages “in excess of $500,000” to remedy lost earnings and wages. Arias’s attorney told the website Ars Technica that management “would tell her co-workers and her of their driving speed, roads taken, and time spent at customer locations. Her manager made it clear that he was using the program to continuously monitor her, during company as well as personal time.”
This article was written by Alex Hern, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 12th May 2015 12.47 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010