Meta (Facebook) Prohibited From Firing Kenyans

Meta stopped from terminating kenyan employees

The Labour Court in Kenya prohibited Meta (Facebook) or its agents from terminating employment contracts of its content moderators, until the Court substantively hears and decides the unfair labour practice case filed against Meta.

In addition, the Employment Court has ruled that Meta is the primary employer of Facebook Content Moderators in Kenya.

Facebook’s Nairobi content moderation covers around 500 million people, yet of the estimated 15,000 Facebook content moderators in the world, only about 260 of them work in Nairobi. Contrast that with the thousands of moderators working in the US.”

Yet, Facebook and Sama are seeking to let go of 184 people from their Kenyan team.

Sama, Facebook’s content review partner in Africa hired and managed these moderators.

Hence, when the dismissed employees filed a case against both Facebook and Sama, the social media giant tried to extract itself from the situation, claiming that they were not their employer. The company insisted Sama was.

Meta is a client of Sama’s, and Sama is not legally empowered to act on behalf of Meta.” Sama stated.

However, Justice Byram Ongaya of Kenya’s employment and labour relations in his ruling noted that Sama is “merely an agent…or manager.”

The moderators did not just perform Facebook’s work. They were using Meta’s resources for their work. Additionally, their work was evaluated based on the Meta’s performance metrics.

The court asked the local government to put in place labour policies that cater for employees’ safety in virtual and digital environments.

You may read the full ruling here.

Content Moderators Mental Ilness

Furthermore, the Ruling also acknowledges that the work of content moderation is inherently hazardous.

Basing their ruling on signed affidavits the court noted it was likely moderators suffered serious and adverse mental health impacts.

Dr. Kigamwa, a Kenyan consultant Psychiatrist confirmed that one of the applicants had acquired insomnia associated with her work.

The court process seeks to provide appropriate relief for the affected moderators. This was among the pleas from the applicants in their submissions.

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