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A Company Fired an Employee for Refusing to Leave His Webcam On All Day. Now It Owes Him More Than $70,000. Chetu, a software company, fired an employee in late August for not wanting to leave his webcam active all day. A Dutch court ordered the company to pay around $73,000 to the employee.

By Gabrielle Bienasz

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A Florida-based company named Chetu was fined at least $70,000 by a Dutch court for firing an employee who did not want to keep their webcam on all day, according to NL Times, an English-language, Netherlands-focused news outlet.

According to the late September ruling, an employee who was working remotely for the software company (stationed in the Netherlands) had been called into a meeting in late August. He was told he needed to screen share and have his webcam on all day.

The worker replied to the company that he felt it was a violation of privacy and was fired three days later. A couple of weeks later, he filed a lawsuit against the company — which he won.

The Dutch court cited Article 8 European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to privacy in the home and in your correspondence.

The court ordered Chetu to pay several fees, including unpaid salary and unused vacation days. The outlet calculated the total would come to at least $75,000 Euros, or about $73,000 USD — plus court fees.

The whole incident appears to have affected Chetu's presence in the Netherlands. The NL Times reported that, per Chamber of Commerce records, the company's branch in the country seems to have been shut down.

Chetu is a software company that says on its website it has clients all over the world. It plans to double its current workforce, according to a late September article in the South Florida Business Journal. It did not respond to a request for comment.

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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