Worker fired for disabling GPS app that tracked her 24 hours a day

Worker fired for disabling GPS app that tracked her 24 hours a day [Updated]

"This intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person," lawsuit says.

by David Kravets - May 11, 2015 9:41am PDT

A Central California woman claims she was fired after uninstalling an app that her employer required her to run constantly on her company issued iPhone—an app that tracked her every move 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Plaintiff Myrna Arias, a former Bakersfield sales executive for money transfer service Intermex, claims in a state court lawsuit that her boss, John Stubits, fired her shortly after she uninstalled the job-management Xora app that she and her colleagues were required to use. According to her suit (PDF) in Kern County Superior Court:

After researching the app and speaking with a trainer from Xora, Plaintiff and her co-workers asked whether Intermex would be monitoring their movements while off duty. Stubits admitted that employees would be monitored while off duty and bragged that he knew how fast she was driving at specific moments ever since she installed the app on her phone. 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 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…..

Intermex did not immediately respond for comment.

The suit, which claims invasion of privacy, retaliation, unfair business practices, and other allegations, seeks damages in excess of $500,000 and asserts she was monitored on the weekends when she was not working.

Arias' boss "scolded" her for uninstalling the app shortly after being required to use it, according to the suit. Her attorneys said the woman made $7,250 per month and that she "met all quotas" during a brief stint with Intermex last year.

"This intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person," the filing said.

Arias' attorney, Gail Glick, said in a Monday e-mail to Ars that the app allowed her client's "bosses to see every move the employees made throughout the day."

The app had a "clock in/out" feature which did not stop GPS monitoring, that function remained on. This is the problem about which Ms. Arias complained. Management never made mention of mileage. They would tell her co-workers and her of their driving speed, roads taken, and time spent at customer locations. Her manager made it clear that he was using the program to continuously monitor her, during company as well as personal time.


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