The Employment and Labour Relations Court Judge Jacob Gakeri allowed the adjournment of a case where Facebook’s Parent Company, META, is sued over allegations of exploitation and poor working conditions of its content moderators at the Nairobi hub.
The adjournment came after Meta’s lawyer, Fred Ojiambo, requested one due to his involvement in the ongoing tribunal investigating suspended High Court Judge Said Chitembwe.
However, the petitioner, Daniel Motaung, who has sued Meta, did not object to the Senior lawyer’s request to reschedule the case.
The Judge was scheduled to hear Meta’s application yesterday to declare that the Kenyan court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case.
Meta requests that they be removed as parties to the petition filed by Motaung, a former Samasource employee.
Meta claims, through lawyer Ojiambo, that the suit is incompetent, illegal, and unsustainable because the constitution’s provisions do not apply to the firm in the circumstances of the case before the court.
Ojiambo claims that the Meta platforms inc and Meta platforms Ireland limited, who are named as respondents in Motaung’s case, are foreign corporations that are neither resident, domiciled, nor trading in Kenya, and that the Labour Court in Nairobi has no jurisdiction over them.
“That the petition herein against Meta platforms inc and Meta platforms Ireland limited be struck out and wholly dismissed as this Honourable Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the petition against the two jointly and severally,” according to the court papers.
Motaung, a former moderator for Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc (FB.O), filed a petition lawsuit on May 10 alleging that poor working conditions for contracted content moderators violate Kenyan law.
The petition, which was also filed against Meta’s local outsourcing company Sama, claims that workers moderating Facebook posts in Kenya have been subjected to unfair working conditions such as irregular pay, insufficient mental health support, union-busting, and violations of their privacy and dignity.
Motaung’s lawsuit seeks financial restitution, an order requiring outsourced moderators to have the same health care and pay scale as Meta employees, protection of unionization rights, and an independent human rights audit of the office.