Employee sues firm after dismissal following removal of 24/7 tracking app

(c)iStock.com/Jerome David Kemraj

A woman in California is suing her employer after she was allegedly fired for turning off a work app that tracked its employees’ movements round the clock.

Myrna Arias is seeking damages in excess of $500,000 and claims invasion of privacy, retaliation, and unfair business practices among others, as reported by Ars Technica.

She was hired as a sales executive and account manager at money transfer firm Intermex in February 2014 moving from NetSpend, with the complaint document noting she did an “excellent” job at the company. In April the company rolled out Xora StreetSmart to its employees, an app with a GPS system installed. Here’s where things get interesting:

“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,” the filing reads. “[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.

“[Arias] 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 because Intermex was paying Plaintiff more than NetSpend.

“He confirmed that she was required to keep her phone’s power on “24/7” to answer phone calls from clients.”

According to the document, Arias was ‘scolded’ when she uninstalled the app in late April 2014, and was dismissed in the first week of May.

The description of the Xora StreetSmart app claims managers can use the application in any web browser “to view locations of mobile employees on a map, assign jobs, set up alerts and create reports. Data collected by the mobile app can be easily integrated into applications commonly used for payroll, accounting and other back office systems for even greater efficiency.”

Intermex could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.


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