Remote worker speaks out about 'unfair dismissal'

IAG worker terminated after monitoring software logs low levels of activity on laptop

Remote worker speaks out about 'unfair dismissal'

More than a year after being dismissed from her role, a former Insurance Australia Group (IAG) employee has taken to TikTok to voice concerns over her future employability.

Suzie Cheikho, 38, was terminated from her role at IAG after monitoring software detected low keystroke levels while she was working remotely.

In a now-deleted TikTok video, Cheikho said she continues to face online harassment since news of her termination went viral in early 2023.  

“This has never happened to me before,” she said in the video, as reported by msn.com. “And for what? Something that’s very emotional and very private, I never even spoke about it on social media.”

“I’m literally getting harassed through Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, like, what do you want me to do?”

Monitoring software recorded low levels of activity

IAG reportedly monitored Cheikho’s work-issued laptop for a period of 49 days between October and December 2022.  Using monitoring software, it was observed that Cheikho logged in late to work a total of 47 times, while also logging out early a total of 29 times.

Additionally, IAG found that she failed to work her scheduled hours for a total of 44 days, including four days with no recorded work activity at all, said news.com.au.

Cheikho was placed on a performance improvement plan and dismissed on February 20, 2023 for missing deadlines and failing to complete important tasks. She filed an unfair dismissal claim in July, but this was rejected by the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

In her complaint, Cheikho said “she did not believe for a minute” that IAG’s data about her performance was accurate. She also claimed that she had been unfairly targeted possibly due to her mental health issues.

Dismissed for misconduct

But FWC deputy president Thomas Roberts said the evidence in the case pointed to the fact that Cheikho “was not working as she was required to do during her designated working hours,” said news.com.au.

“The applicant was dismissed for a valid reason of misconduct,” said Roberts in his ruling. “I have little doubt that the factors underlying the applicant’s disconnection from work were serious and real.”

Since being let go by IAG, Cheikho has amassed around 18,000 followers on TikTok. She told news.com.au that she has had to rely on the revenue she makes from the platform to cover her bills.

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