Terminated worker fires back at company’s 24/7 monitoring


Xora's app is at the center of the privacy argument.
The Xora StreetSmart app. Photo: Xora

A woman claims her employer wrongfully fired and retaliated against her for deleting a location-tracking app from her company-issued iPhone, and she’s taking her case to court.

Myrna Arias, formerly of money-transfer company Intermex, took issue with how the bosses were using productivity software Xora, which includes GPS tracking to monitor and optimize business travel. She claims that her higher-ups were using the data to keep tabs on her and coworkers even during off hours and that they terminated her shortly after she removed the offending app.

According to court documents, Arias “expressed that she had no problem with the app’s GPS function during work hours, but she objected to the monitoring of her location during non-work hours and complained [. . .] that this was an invasion of her privacy.” Within a few weeks of this complaint, Arias deleted Xora, and Intermex fired her shortly thereafter.

The document further claims that Arias’ supervisor, John Stubits, “bragged that he knew how fast she was driving at specific moments ever since she had installed the app on her phone” and that after firing Arias, Stubits convinced her other employer, NetSpend, to terminate her as well. Arias had requested at her time of hire with Intermex that she be allowed to stay on at the other company to avoid a gap in her benefits coverage.

While it makes sense for a company to insist that employees using the phones that they provide them conform to certain usage conditions like keeping them on at all times in case of work-related emergency, no legal reason exists to justify their tracking workers on their own time. Stubits even admitted as much but claimed that Arias should “tolerate the illegal intrusion because [Intermex] was paying [her] more than NetSpend,” according to the complaint.

Arias is seeking damages in excess of $500,000.

Via: The Hill