Keystroke Technology Used to Fire Employee

Suzie Cheikho was fired by her employer Insurance Australia Group (IAG) after the company used keystroke technology to measure the time she worked. Cheikho promptly filed a complaint with Australia’s Fair Work Commission, stating that her employer had a “premeditated plan to remove her from the business and that she was targeted due to her mental health issues.” The claim, however, was rejected by the Commission, which found that there was valid misconduct. She had worked at the insurance company for 18 years.

The company’s investigation showed that the employee missed deadlines and meetings, was often absent, could not be contacted, and did not perform a task which caused an industry regulator to fine the company. According to Cheikho had received a formal warning in November 2022 about her performance that included in an improvement plan to try and fix her output.

Here’s what keystroke technology allegedly found:

  • Cheikho physically touched her keyboard on 49 working days from October to December
  • She was often late or even absent
  • She started late on 47 days, left early on 29 days, and did not perform any hours of work on 4 days

Cheikho disputes the findings saying, “Sometimes the workload is a bit slow, but I have never not worked,” and “I mean, I may go to the shops from time to time, but that is not for the entire day. I need to take some time to consider this, and I will put forward a response.” Cheikho then provided a written response claiming she “really can’t recall why or how it’s that low.”

She also claimed that she had “been going through a lot of personal issues which has caused a decline to my mental health and unfortunately I believe it has affected my performance and my work.”

Ultimately, the decision came down to Cheikho “was not working as she was required to do during her designated working hours.”

Nowhere was it shown that the employee knew the company used keystroke technology.

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