A case in California will set a legal landmark about just how much your employer can track and trace your every move. A California woman claims she was fired for uninstalling an app that her employer required her to run constantly on her company issued iPhone.
Yet this app tracked her every move 24 hours a day, seven days a week, raising huge privacy concerns and employment law issues.
Blackberry, once the leader in work phones, has long had specific settings to shut off all work-related communication after the workday, to avoid employees claiming overtime for answering emails and text messages. The feature came at the request of large corporations who did not want claims, such as this one, lodged at them.
Myrna Arias, the plaintiff in the case, is a former Bakersfield sales executive for Intermex, a money transfer service.
She claims in state court that her boss fired her shortly after she uninstalled the app 'Xora', which her employer required her to use. Alleged in her suit, lodged in Kern County Superior Court:
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. 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 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…..
The suit claims invasion of privacy, retaliation, unfair business practices, and seeks damages in excess of $500,000.
Most importantly it asserts she was monitored on the weekends and after-hours when she was not working.
The ruling on the importance of that issue could have wide-ranging implications for companies increasingly looking to track, trace and analyze employee data for a variety of purposes.
The filing calls the intrusion "highly offensive to a reasonable person."
Her attorney, Gail Glick, alleges that the app allowed her client's "bosses to see every move the employees made throughout the day."