Meta facing multiple lawsuits for labor laws violations

labor laws

Meta is facing multiple lawsuits from its former content moderators in Africa, who accuse it of mistreating workers, violating labor laws, and failing to protect them from the harmful effects of moderating violent and graphic content.

The content moderators, who worked for Sama, Meta’s former content review partner in Africa, claim that they were unlawfully dismissed without proper notice and compensation. They also allege that they were discriminated against by Majorel, Meta’s other content moderation partner in Africa, and that they were forced to sign nondisclosure agreements to receive their terminal dues.

The moderators are seeking justice and compensation for the distress and trauma they suffered while working for Meta. They are also demanding that Meta provide them with adequate mental health support and respect their right to unionize. They say that Meta treated them as second-class workers, who were exposed to the worst of the internet without proper care and protection.

The case, which was filed in Kenya’s employment and labor relations court, was initially referred to mediation in August, but the talks collapsed after the moderators felt that there was no genuine effort from Meta, Sama and Majorel to reach an out of court settlement. The suit will now proceed to trial, where the moderators hope to prove their claims and hold Meta accountable for its actions.

Meta has declined to comment on the case, but has previously argued that it was not the employer of the moderators and that it had no direct contractual relationship with them. However, a Kenyan judge disagreed with this argument, saying that the moderators did Meta’s work, using its technology, and adhered to its performance and accuracy metrics.

Meta and Sama are also facing another lawsuit from a South African moderator, who accuses them of labor and human trafficking, unfair labor relations, union busting and failure to provide adequate mental health and psychosocial support. He claims that he was laid off for organizing a strike and trying to unionize Sama’s employees.

In addition, Meta is being sued by Ethiopians in Kenya for failing to employ adequate safety measures on Facebook, which allegedly fueled the deadly Tigray war that left over 500,000 people dead. The plaintiffs claim that Meta allowed hate speech, misinformation and incitement to violence to spread on its platform, which contributed to the ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Tigrayan people.

These lawsuits highlight the challenges and risks that content moderators face while working for Meta, especially in regions where human rights and labor standards are often violated or ignored. They also raise questions about Meta’s responsibility and accountability for the content it hosts and moderates on its platforms. As Meta rebrands itself as a metaverse company, it will have to address these issues and ensure that it respects and protects the rights and well-being of its workers and users around the world.

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