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Monday, May 27, 2024

Canada. Remote work. Canadian woman fined for ‘stealing time’

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A Canadian accountant will have to financially compensate her former employer for “stealing time”, foreign media reported. This is how the local court, which decided on the financial penalty, described the feigning work in a peculiar way. Earlier, the woman sued the company for – in her opinion – unjustified dismissal. However, she did not know that the results of her remote work were constantly monitored by special software.

According to the British “The Guardian”, Karlee Besse was working remotely as an accountant in the province until recently Columbia British. However, the employer suddenly decided to terminate the contract with the employee, which, in Besse’s opinion, was unjustified. She decided to claim her rights on the legal path.

Employee requests and company response

The woman’s demands included compensation for unpaid wages and severance pay in the amount of five thousand Canadian dollars. However, the employer did not owe her and also presented his claims for – as he put it – feigning work. From data acquired using special time control software remote work it was clear that Besse had not performed her duties during a total of 50 hours of work.

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It is a program that tracks how much time an employee spends on working with a given document, how they use it, and compares this data with the employee’s declarations regarding the hours worked. As the company explained, it was decided to install the software on Besse’s computer after objections arose regarding the untimely submission of reports by the accountant.

Besse defended herself in court, saying that the program was not advanced enough to distinguish between personal and professional use of the computer. However, the company’s lawyers showed that the software has the necessary functions and easily distinguishes whether the computer was used to prepare reports or watch movies and series on streaming services.

Punished for “stealing time”

Besse tried to show that she worked with printed documents. However, it turned out that the software also tracked activity from the printer. In this case, no activities of the equipment transferred to remote work were recorded.

Ultimately, the judge was convinced by the evidence and data presented by the former employer. He ruled that in this case one cannot speak of unjustified termination of the employment relationship. In addition, the woman will have to pay the company for “stealing time”. Hours not worked were valued at C$2,459.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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