Employee ordered to pay employer for ‘Time Theft’

Remote working hours monitored and employee held accountable for misrepresentation through court ruling.

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An accountant in Canada has been ordered by a court to pay her employer $1841 for ‘time theft’ after her employer used tracking software to monitor her working hours while working remotely. Karlee Besse was employed as an accountant for Reach CPA and was given a company laptop on which her employer had installed the tracking software Time Camp. Besse initially claimed that she was fired without cause and sued the company, but Reach CPA presented evidence to the court that Besse had misrepresented her working hours by showing irregularities between her timesheets and the software usage logs.

The Time Camp software can track how long a particular document was open, how the employee used the document, and logs work time. Besse argued that the software had misinterpreted her use of the laptop for personal and professional use, but the company demonstrated that the software was capable of distinguishing between the two. Besse also claimed that she had printed the documents and worked on them, but the company showed that the software was able to log print commands and that work done on printed documents was required to be reported to the company, which Besse did not do. The judge dismissed Besse’s claim of wrongful termination and ordered her to pay the company.

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