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Woman fired after objecting to smartphone tracking app

On May 5, a woman in California filed a lawsuit against her former employer after she says that she was fired for refusing to be tracked by a smartphone app while she was off duty. According to the plaintiff, she was fired shortly after she had objected to being monitored by the app around the clock. She is seeking $500,000 in damages for unfair business practices, invasion of privacy, retaliation and wrongful termination.

Intermex, an electronic money transfer service, hired the plaintiff to work as a sales executive and account manager in February 2014. Two months thereafter, the company asked its employees to install a smartphone app called Xora StreetSmart so that the employees' locations could be monitored while they were working remotely. After complaining about the app and disabling it from her phone, the plaintiff was terminated in May 2014.

Although the plaintiff did not object to her employer's desire to track her movements while she was on duty, she voiced concern about the app when she learned that she was being monitored during non-working hours. She says that her employer told her to keep her phone's power on 24/7 and 'tolerate the illegal intrusion" because she was earning a lot of money at the company.

California law protects employees from invasions of privacy by their employers. Someone who believes that their employer or former employer remotely tracked them, went through their personal belongings or accessed their private email accounts might want to speak to a lawyer about the remedies that may be available.

Source: Entrepreneur, "Employee Says She Was Fired for Refusing to Be Tracked 24/7," Nina Zipkin, May 13, 2015

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