Woman Fired Keystroke Technology Reddit Debate: Australian Employee’s Dismissal Stirs Controversy
A woman in Australia was recently let go from her longstanding position when her employer implemented keystroke tech to evaluate her remote work efficiency. The case, which gained traction on Reddit, reveals that Suzie Cheikho, who was with Insurance Australia Group (IAG) for nearly two decades, was shown the door because her typing metrics were not up to par when she was working from home.
Within her role at IAG, Cheikho was entrusted with drafting insurance policies, ensuring they met regulatory standards, and overseeing “work from home compliance.” In a twist of irony, it was found that her own adherence to working from home protocols was not satisfactory.
IAG employed keystroke technology meaning they tracked her online actions over a span of 49 days from October to December. The data indicated that Cheikho exhibited “very low keystroke activity.” Their analysis unveiled that she often began work later than her scheduled start time on 47 occasions, concluded her workday early 29 times, and failed to fulfill her allocated work hours on 44 days. There were even four instances where she didn’t log any work hours at all.
Cheikho, however, contested these findings, claiming that she would sometimes utilize alternative devices to carry out her tasks. Over the monitored period, her average was 54 strokes every hour, which the company believed illustrated “she was not presenting for work and performing work as required.”
On February 20, she was dismissed due to missed deadlines and meetings, her unavailability, and instances of unauthorized absences. Her inability to finalize an assignment resulted in the regulatory body imposing a fine on her employer.
This decision to let her go was made three months post the issuance of an official warning to Cheikho in November 2022, followed by a performance review plan. In response, she lodged an unjust termination complaint against IAG, which was subsequently overruled by the Fair Work Commission (FWC). The FWC concluded that her dismissal was justified, citing “valid reason of misconduct.”