Woman fired for lack of keystrokes while working from home speaks out

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Woman fired for lack of keystrokes An Australian woman has revealed her side of the story after she was fired for not using her keyboard enough while working from home. The incident made headlines around the country, but Suzie Cheikho says she’s now being bullied online and has been left unemployable.

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Woman fired for lack of keystrokes while working from home speaks out

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Woman fired for lack of keystrokes

An Australian woman has been fired from a major insurance company after keystroke technology found she wasn’t typing enough while working from home.

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) rejected an unfair dismissal application by Suzie Cheikho, stating she was fired from Insurance Australia Group (IAG) for a “valid reason of misconduct”.

The commission’s findings stated Cheikho was responsible for creating insurance documents, meeting regulatory timelines and monitoring “work from home compliance,” among other roles.

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Woman fired for lack of keystrokes

However, the former consultant’s own work-from-home performance was her very undoing which would see her ejected from the company after 18 years.

The FWC findings stated Cheikho was fired on February 20 for missing deadlines and meetings, being absent and uncontactable, and failing to lodge a product disclosure statement which caused the industry regulator to fine IAG.

But Cheikho a month later claimed her employer made a “premeditated plan to remove her from the business and that she was targeted due to her mental health issues”.

According to FWC’s findings, however, Cheikho’s dismissal didn’t come without warning.

Cheikho received a formal warning in November 2022 about her output and was put on a performance improvement plan.

She was subject to a detailed review of cyber activity, which looked at how many times Cheikho pressed buttons on her keyboard on 49 working days from October to December.

The review found she started late on 47 days, did not work her rostered hours for 44 days, finished early on 29 days and performed zero hours of work on four days.

They also found on the days she did log on she had “very low keystroke activity” and recorded zero strokes over 117 hours in October, 143 hours in November, and 60 hours in December.

But Cheikho said she was “confused and shocked” at the data, and questioned its accuracy.

She added she at times used other devices than her laptop to log in when she had “system issues”.

According to the findings, Cheikho attended a performance meeting with her manager via Teams with the word “F***” written across her hand.

Woman fired for lack of keystrokes

FWC Deputy President Thomas Roberts ruled the evidence showed Cheikho “was not working as she was required to do during her designated working hours” while monitored.

Woman fired for lack of keystrokes

The applicant was dismissed for a valid reason of misconduct, Roberts wrote.

“I have little doubt that the factors underlying the applicant’s disconnection from work were serious and real,” he said.

The situation was “regrettable” given Cheikho’s “long period of satisfactory service,” Roberts added.

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