Facebook parent firm fails to stop court case in Kenya


Facebook parent firm Meta has been sued in Kenya. PHOTO | AFP

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has ruled that the Facebook parent firm Meta can be sued in Kenya.

In a ruling Monday morning, Justice Jacob Gakeri declined to strike out Meta Platforms Inc and Meta Platforms Ireland Ltd from a case filed by a former South African Facebook moderator Daniel Motaung, who has sued the social technology company over a toxic work environment.

“My finding is that 2nd and 3rd respondent shall not be struck,” the judge said.

Meta wanted to be removed from the case, arguing that Kenyan courts do not have jurisdiction since the foreign corporations are not domiciled or trading in Kenya.

Read: Facebook wants ‘toxic’ office case in Kenya dropped

The multinational also said Mr Motaung did not seek the permission of the court, before filing the case.

Mr Motaung filed the case last year, claiming that he and his colleagues suffered psychological injuries from repeated exposure to extremely disturbing, graphic violent content coupled with a toxic working environment.

Mr Motaung was employed as a moderator by Meta’s local outsourcing company- Samasource Kenya EPZ ltd. He wants to be paid damages for his suffering in the six months he worked for the firm and for working extra hours without pay.

Mr Motaung claimed that many moderators left Samasource in January 2021, and instead of hiring replacements, the firm forced the content moderators to cover additional hours.

Meta has also argued that the South African failed to disclose to the court that he signed a non-disclosure agreement as a moderator, which barred him from giving evidence against the firm.

Also read: Suit against Facebook parent fails to start as lawyer absent

The case will be mentioned on March 8 for directions.

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