If being constantly monitored by your employer was the price of a decently salaried job, would you agree to it? A California woman named Myrna Arias faced this dilemma when her company — a monetary transferring service called Intermex — allegedly forced employees to use a tracking iPhone app on their work phones. Xora is advertised as a web-based management app that connects mobile employees with their office counterparts, and Intermex reportedly used it to follow employees' movements 24 hours per day. When Arias deleted the app from her phone, the sales executive claims to have been reprimanded and eventually fired.
Now, Arias is filing a wrongful termination suit against Intermex, saying that the company's management violated state labor codes and intruded on employees' privacy. Seeking damages of over $500,000, Arias's lawsuit gives a particularly grim look at the way Xora was being used within the company.
"Plaintiff 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 to Stubits [her manager] that this was an invasion of her privacy. She likened the app to a prisoner's ankle bracelet and informed Stubits that his actions were illegal. Stubits replied that she should tolerate the illegal intrusion . . . "
While the app does have a "clock in and out" feature, Xora's GPS tracking function remained activated 24 hours per day for Intermex employees. When managers made comments about her driving speed, choice of travel routes, and the amount of time spent with her customers, Arias felt violated — and understandably so.
We've reached out to Intermex for comment and will let you know if and when we hear back.
If true, do you think that the company, who issued Arias the iPhone, had the right to track her movements and terminate her employment? Or do you think that she was right in deleting the app? Let us know in the comments!