Big Blow To Meta As Court Declines To Dismiss Case

Meta Platforms has lost its plea to stay proceedings in the Labour Court in which Facebook content moderators have challenged their firing.

Meta has attempted to have the case dismissed on the basis of jurisdictional grounds, however, the court declined the request.

Meta filed an appeal at the Court of Appeals, requesting that any further proceedings in the Nairobi Employment and Labour Relations Court be stayed until the outcome of an anticipated appeal against Justice Nduma Nderi’s March 20 order.

Judge Nderi on the said date restrained Meta from implementing the redundancy notice issued to Facebook content moderators on January 10 pending the determination of a matter they had filed.

Meta was additionally barred from replacing the content moderators on Facebook.

The corporation sought to have the case dismissed by filing objections to the complaint, but they were denied.

They claimed that the Labour Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.

Nderi, on the other hand, declined, claiming that the argument was the result of an employer-employee dispute. He extended the temporary orders he had issued.

Meta, enraged, filed an appeal. However, Court of Appeal Judges Daniel Musinga, Kathurima M’Inoti, and John Mativo dismissed their May 5, 2023 application.

The justices stated that a stay of proceedings pending the hearing and determination of an appeal against a temporary injunction should be granted only if the contested order will materially affect Meta if the issue progresses.

They stated that it is the responsibility of every court to eliminate situations that may create unnecessary delays in the administration of justice.

Meta attempted to persuade the courts that Judge Nderi was prejudiced against them since he recused himself after issuing the contested order.

However, the judges observed that Nderi never recused himself from the case as alleged.

They said the judge is on record stating that he was proceeding on leave and therefore he passed the file to the presiding judge of the court for re-allocation to another judge.