The rise of time and work tracking software is now an unfortunate reality for millions of remote workers – and this case shows why the so-called “bossware” is so popular with managers.
A woman in Canada lost a lawsuit she filed against her employer thanks to her company proving, in court, that she had logged hours that “did not appear to have spent on work-related tasks”.
Karlee Besse, an accountant working remotely in British Columbia, was let go from her job last year, which prompted her to sue her company for C$5,000 for unpaid wages and severance.
Unfortunately for her case, the company in question used the TimeCamp employee-tracking software on her laptop.
The bossware in question tracks how an employee uses their work-issued computer, from how long a document is open to how they interact with it, including if they print it to use as a hard copy, as well as any time spent on personal activities like watching content on streaming apps.
After suspecting Besse was logging in hours she did not work, the company analyzed her computer usage and found that her claimed hours and what she actually did on the computer did not match.
Besse said she had printed documents to work on the physical copies but was afraid to let her manager know that, as it was a discouraged practice, but the TimeCamp software showed few documents being actually printed.
All in all, the TimeCamp software showed around 50 hours of work time missing from what Besse claimed to have done. This prompted the judge to rule in her former employer’s favor and order her to pay the company around $2600 in debt and damages for time theft.
You can read the full court documents here.