Court dismisses Meta plea over unfair sacking


The Employment Court has dismissed an application by Meta seeking to strike out a petition filed by 260 content moderators. FILE PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

The Employment Court, on Thursday, dismissed an application by Facebook parent company Meta seeking to strike out a petition filed by 260 content moderators who have sued the firm for unfair sacking.

Meta Platforms Inc and Meta Platforms Ireland Ltd argued that the Kenyan courts lacked jurisdiction to determine the matter because they are foreign firms that do not trade in the country.

The content moderators moved to court last month and obtained orders blocking Meta’s local agent from declaring them redundant.

The content moderators initially worked for Samasource Kenya EPZ (Sama) but they claimed Meta terminated the contract and was planning to hire new people through Majorel Kenya Ltd.

Justice Mathews Nduma rejected the application by Meta saying the dispute revolves around the employer-employee relationship and it is immaterial whether the alleged violations occur in a physical or virtual space, within Kenya

“The court will consider the nature and extent of liability with regard to the alleged breaches and violations of the Constitution arising and or related to employment and Labour relations in Kenya,” the judge said.

Meta wanted the case struck out arguing that they are foreign companies without a legal or factual presence in Kenya.

The firm further told the court that the case was filed without first, seeking the permission of the court.

The employees through lawyer Mercy Mutemi moved to court saying that they are from various countries in Africa and were engaged as Facebook Content Moderators.

They told the court that the key tools of the trade are the Facebook community standards which are wholly created and revised by Meta.

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